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Visa Study Reveals High Awareness of Mobile Money

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Sunday, December 30, 2012

Visa recently shared results of a study that examined the needs and expectations of mobile money by consumers, mobile money agents and merchants in six developing countries. The study was conducted with nearly 2500 respondents in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Awareness of mobile money is high – Average awareness stood at 56% and awareness was extremely high in Ghana (93%) and Pakistan (89%).
  • Consumers have complex, sophisticated financial services needs– While many respondents did not have a formal financial account, they set aside money for a variety of things including education, healthcare and emergencies. Consumers intend to use mobile money to send money to family members, pay bills and save money for their family.
  • Preventing theft, ability to send money quickly drives adoption– The study found that the primary driver to adopt mobile financial services is the ability to protect funds from theft and easily send funds. There is a concern about carrying around cash in these countries, so that is the number one benefit cited by respondents.

Interestingly, the study also examined the barriers to the adoption of mobile money which included:

  • Ease of use – 64%
  • Lack of trust in mobile money providers and agents – 55%
  • Lack of interoperability with other mobile money services – 28%

These barriers point out a lot of what the mobile money market needs to address to ensure that the full potential of the technology and services can be realized. Solutions need to be dead simple to use, and governments needs to back up the systems to ensure consumer confidence. When including the unbanked in a mobile money system there needs to be recognition of their needs and that many of the concepts, such as fees, are new to the users. As the study points out in the best practices section, education and awareness are fundamental to the success of mobile money in the long-run.