Sub-Sahara ‘ready for next m-commerce step’
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| Aug. 29, 2012, 2:37 p.m.
In a new report from its ConsumerLab, Ericsson maps out the potential of transformation within m-commerce across the region of sub-Saharan Africa.
Based on in-depth, extensive interviews with mobile phone users in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania, the report has four key findings: that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their personal budgets; the speed and convenience of m-commerce points to great potential in the market; current behaviors and social structures indicate that the use of mobile payment services will expand; and that consumers need more information about the functionality and security of m-commerce transactions.
Consumers tell Ericsson researchers that they use mobile payment services for person-to-person transfers and purchasing airtime on their mobile subscriptions, and that they like the convenience of accessing money everywhere and at anytime, regardless of service hours. In Tanzania, for example, 38% of subscribers send money person-to-person over the mobile phone.
Another conclusion of the report is that people who use m-commerce keep little separation between private and business accounts. "Many consumers are entirely self-employed and are prompted to make transfers from private accounts for business purposes, so they gain experience with m-commerce," says Anders Erlandsson, Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab.
Experience leads to greater trust, and the report finds that 44% of non-users of m-commerce are very worried about the integrity of their account information in case of theft or loss of their phones. "Face-to-face introductions, when an agent meets consumer, are crucial," says Erlandsson. "Just as personal access to a bank leads to higher acceptance of more abstract bank services, trust in mobile services also grows with personal experiences, rather than merely through advertising."
The report gives some insight into how household finances are traditionally handled and guidance for telecom operators in launching services that consumers will like and use. Where men and women share a household, men are generally expected to be breadwinners and women responsible for household finances.
A 45-year old man in Tanzania says: "If we are out of money and we have to buy something, my wife will usually solve it somehow. I don't know how she does it, women always have their ways."
Users put a high value on easy access to their money, Erlandsson continues: "Network reliability is another important factor, where concerns have to be addressed. For example, if you lose connectivity, you cannot access your money.
"Operators are reliable and technologically adept, providing a service that is personal and available to everybody. There is a window of opportunity in mobile money services for operators who already have an established relationship with consumers, because they have wide presence also in rural areas," he concluded.
Ericsson ConsumerLab gains its knowledge through a global consumer research program based on interviews with 100,000 individuals each year, in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities - statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used, and hundreds of hours are spent with consumers from different cultures.
Ericsson m-commerce has a global focus on accelerating access and interconnection between the m-commerce ecosystem and the existing financial world.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Airtel Money to pay interest on Mobile Money walletsAirtel Money, a sub brand of Airtel Ghana, has announced its readiness, in conjunction with partner banks, to pay interest earned by customers on their Airtel Money wallets effective 11th September 2016. Read More
EFInA lifts Nigeria mobile banking with $1.5mEnhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) boosted the mobile money sector by splashing $1.5 million or about N421.5 million from its Innovation Grant on Diamond Bank’s Diamond Y’ello Account (DYA), a mobile banking platform which was built on MTN Xaas platform. Read More
KCB M-PESA loan disbursements cross KSh10B markRevolutionary mobile-based bank account KCB M-PESA has advanced KSh10.3 billion in loans to its customers since inception about two years ago, boosting access to credit in Kenya. Read More
Airtel Money, WAEC enable candidates to check their results onlineAirtel Money is enabling the purchase of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) results checker pins on its platform. Read More
Airtel Money Card is now back, with online paymentsAirtel Kenya has announced the return of its Airtel Money Card, enabling card holders the convenience of shopping, online payments and easy access to funds 24 hours a day. Read More
Daystar University pioneers smartphone-based degree programmesDaystar University has announced a strategic partnership with OneUni to launch Africa’s first smartphone-based degree programmes, the first of which is a Bachelor’s of Education for existing and aspiring teachers. Read More
MTN Ghana stimulates discussion on cashless societyAs part of its 2016 Mobile Money Month celebration in the country, MTN Ghana has revisited the discussion on a cashless society and the need for stakeholders to take a critical look at its benefits again. Read More
WorldRemit calls for urgent restoration of money transfers to NigeriaHundreds of global remittance companies have been forced to cease transfers to Nigeria, says WorldRemit. Read More
Mobile Money – the paradox of costly convenienceThe convenience of mobile money is being offset by the increased risk of fraud, report Kampala residents. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.