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Mobile Money ROI: what about mobile marketing?

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Thursday, March 25, 2010

Typically when people are transacting for goods and services, they are at most receptive for more information to be pushed their way, as a reminder of additional products or services, to purchase. Mobile marketing is finding a hard time to find home, but when incorporated properly into a transactional platform, develops what was once not a well understood problem space, to creating a business with plans that have a greater return than expected.

To encourage use and retention of all these services, rewards programs and promotions need to also be encouraged and introduced. Traditional scratch card and electronic vouchers and highly branded for effective point-of-sale merchandising, therefore borrowing from what works and making it better also typically improves the bottom line.

Let me explain the business model: The definition of what constitutes a bank changes from country to country, and the needs are vastly different. The GSMA along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking to mobile payments as a way to encourage savings in communities that are mainly rural and where income is tied to harvests.

With all this defined how does an operator return the investment made with such services? Incorporate well understood business models such as SMS charging and per minute voice charging and apply that to transactional services, where sender pays, and you’ve got a new line of revenue that will satisfy any CEO. Typically this has led to a $1 a month increase in ARPU, often from a very low base.

To sum up, I think it must be stated that there are numerous factors that affect the payback and the results will vary according to the particular circumstances of the service provider. Payback results can be influenced by the following factors:

  • Single transactional platform investment vs. multiple
  • Number of direct revenue generating services applied
  • Incorporation mobile marketing

When deploying a transactional services platform service providers must consider these variables and understand their influence on their investment.