In our organisation, and I assume in our Financial Services Industry, we are constantly evaluating the role Mobile Money will play in the future of our business. Mobile Money system has provided a secure, fast and relatively cost effective means for financially excluded and poor people to effect payments either for goods and services or person to person or in few cases access to credit.
A recent article stated : in Kenya the total amount of money transferred using mobile phones is more than quarter of Kenya’s GDP! The success of Mobile Money schemes has been driven by quite a few factors like Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and their extensive distribution footprint, its economic value and most importantly user-friendly nature of the system. In a nutshell, it is satisfying basic as well as immediate needs of customers in the poor and financially excluded space.
But every system comes with some demerits. So what are the limitations of Mobile Money systems for Africa’s future consumers? How robust is the system across borders? Will the Mobile Money account be able to satisfy the need of improved living style? Do we need to sign up for multiple accounts or one mobile money account will serve the purpose? Will the company provide any interest on the excess funds in wallet/ account?
So picture this scenario : MNO and a bank come together and roll out a banking account that provides telecom and banking solutions. You just need to press a few keys to open an account and presto you are connected. You can now receive and make payments from any bank account. Your interest is paid from your balance and you can also make utility payments. Cash in and cash out services are provided through an extensive distribution network and above all this you get a card that provides a gateway to a multitude of services and borderless transactions.
So lets wrap up the discussion with a question? In the final analysis with global concerns on KYC and AML issues on the rise if Financial Systems Regulators, Banks, and Mobile Network Operators agree on policies to ensure win /win endgame for all stakeholders, will it be mobile money or a bank account with enhanced features that will be the standard in Africa?
At Diamond Bank we are betting on Mobile Financial Services. Full bank accounts at affordable pricing, from the top to bottom of the pyramid.