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
SimbaPay launches free UK to Nigeria money transfersNigerians living in the UK can now send money to any bank account or mobile phone in Nigeria instantly. Read More
Local languages now on EcoCashEconet Wireless has announced a new enhancement to the EcoCash mobile money wallet by unveiling multiple local languages to the EcoCash platform. Read More
Airtel, Verifone partner on NFC payment in GhanaAirtel Ghana has partnered Verifone Mobile Money to raise the bar in the mobile money space by introducing a contactless “tap and pay” near field communications (NFC) technology for payment. Read More
Globacom unveils National Mobile Health Insurance productNigerian national telecoms carrier, Globacom has unveiled a National Mobile Health Insurance Product to help improve access to quality health care among Nigerian population. Read More
MFS Africa to power cross-border xP2P services between MTN Mobile Money and M-Pesa in AfricaMFS Africa has announced that its mobile money hub (MFS Africa Hub) has been selected by telecom giants Vodafone and MTN to interconnect their respective M-PESA and MTN Mobile Money platforms in the East African region. Read More
Airtel Kenya partners Medanta Africare for mobile healthcareAirtel Kenya has joined hands with Medanta Africare to launch a new mHealth service that will allow customers access quality health advice from doctors through their mobile phones. Read More
MTN Mobile Money and Vodafone M-Pesa to interconnect Mobile Money ServicesCustomers of MTN Mobile Money and M-Pesa in East Africa will be able to transfer money to each other following an agreement between MTN Group and Vodafone Group to interconnect their mobile money services. Read More
Mobile money a game changerThere has been massive drop in the number of unbanked, thanks to the boom of mobile money services, a new World Bank report shows. Read More
Afrinvest unveils mobile app for online trading, investment managementAfrinvest Securities Limited at the weekend launched an online equity trading mobile application, offering clients mobile access to their brokerage accounts and portfolio data. Read More
Stanbic launches real time payments for electricity and DStvStanbic Bank Botswana has announced the introduction of state of the art, real-time electronic payments for Prepaid Electricity and DStv Subscription through its cellphone Banking and Internet Banking Channels. Read More
FEATURED STORYBuilding an African Dream: The Wyzetalk journey
Enterprise social networking company Wyzetalk examines the challenges and opportunities it encountered as a startup in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.
COMPANY NEWSMicrosoft, IICD launch employability hub in Ghana
Microsoft Ghana, in partnership with the International Institute for Communication and Development, has launched the TizaaWorks online platform, a one-stop online hub for employability and entrepreneurship.