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Mobile money trust issues

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just read an interesting article on the South African based site Business Insight on how consumers are not warming up to mobile money. It cites research that indicates mobile payments are the cheapest mode of transacting, yet there’s a major trust issue with consumers when it comes to mobile money or commerce.

But here’s the catch. The issue is in markets that have access to online and in person banking such as South Africa. In unbanked markets around the world, mobile money has gained significant traction transforming how they do business and their access to resources.

Many questions come to mind when assessing this situation, is the issue really trust or is it a lack of education with these consumers? Do operators need to do a better job demonstrating the benefits of using mobile money?

There’s a lot at stake when you consider the sheer cost of cash handling costs. The article cites research from Mastercard which found that cash handling costs eat into a country’s gross domestic product by between 0.6 percent and 1.5 percent.

Another key question is around the ease of use. It is that the system is too complex so they default to an easier method? When you have no other option you’ll be more apt to struggle, where if you can simply use another method you’ll give up much easier. As we’ve seen with other technologies, systems need to be dead easy to use to drive the highest level of consumer acceptance.

These are big questions about mobile money that requires further discussion across the industry. We have made immense progress, but now is the time to go beyond unbanked markets and create true success around the globe.