Director, Mobile Money Project Finance
VeriFone Mobile Money – A VeriFone Joint Venture
Francis will demo the VeriFone Mobile Money integrated Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions for mobile financial services at the MobileMoneyExpo in February 2013 at Lagos Orientals Hotel, Nigeria.
How relevant is the ability to integrate POS systems into existing mobile money deployments in Africa?
Having an integrated POS system is key to having a mobile money system that works for the consumer, as well as for the entire mobile money ecosystem of partnerships. For consumers to accept and frequently use mobile money, we have to be able to spend and access (withdraw) cash at any time, in any place. We also need to be able to top-up our mobile airtime and pay bills easily and send cash to friends and family either within Nigeria or abroad (in the right currency, at the right price and with low fees). POS integration enables all these transactions and more. One of the problems with Mobile Money is that adoption rates have been lower and slower than originally anticipated in countries other than Kenya. And one reason is that the consumer needs to be able to trust the technology (and VeriFone Systems, Inc. provides the most widely used and trusted POS solutions in the world). The POS devices provide the consumer with a print-out of each transaction in their hands and an SMS follow-up message. Additionally the consumer needs to find the technology simple to use (and we firmly believe that our VeriFone Mobile Money solutions provide the fastest and most convenient user experience for the consumer). The consumer should find using mobile money easier than printed money, and safer (it is more secure to have PIN and/or biometric fingerprint protected electronic transactions than carrying cash in your pocket). Being a user of Verifone Mobile Money solutions for the under-banked, consumers can begin to take advantage of all the other benefits having a bank account allows: it becomes easier to obtain a job with a credit history, it is more secure to hold and save money electronically and possible to obtain micro loans and insurance.
VeriFone Mobile Money solutions make retail transactions with mobile money quick – as little as 10 seconds from start to finish – and error free. The POS devices, particularly when integrated with inventory systems, allow shopkeepers to better control their goods efficiently, ensuring that they do not have too many or too few of the items they sell in the store. POS solutions support the Shopkeeper’s accountancy, making it easier for them to calculate turnover, profits and tax. Shopkeepers are typically paid small transaction fees for the value added services they offer on the POS devices, amounting to new revenue streams. The new services, new transaction types and increased transactions overall mean the cost of the terminal can be covered within months of operation. Having such services increases foot traffic, driving more customers to the shop, where they may often buy other goods too.
Like the shopkeeper, agents typically receive small transaction fees for the services they provide. With a convenient POS solution is agent will typically attract more business than their rivals as the consumers prefer the faster, safer user experience. The POS devices help the agent manage their cash, so that they have enough to pay consumers for withdrawals at any one time, but not too much, ensuring that they do not carry too much money around with them.
Mobile Network Operator Benefits
The Mobile Network Operator benefits by having the best mobile money customer experience on the market which increases not only the mobile money subscriber base but also their overall subscriber base. It also reduces churn and greatly increases overall daily transaction throughput. The increased activity from mobile money retail transactions and other value added services available on the POS devices has a flow-on effect to increased use of airtime – particularly when the mobile operator can tie-in mobile money use with airtime promotions. VeriFone Mobile Money solutions can replace old physical prepaid card top-ups - which are expensive to manage and distribute - with direct electronic top-ups, which are very cost-effective to run. The savings from no longer maintaining large and costly prepaid card inventories and distribution networks means the cost of POS devices can be easily absorbed.
Banks can begin to reach a new customer base. There are currently many more mobile phone users than bank customers, so POS solutions effectively extend their reach. Secure, electronic and mobile POS solutions are considerably cheaper for banks than building physical branches and the supporting personnel around the country making them much more effective for financial inclusion initiatives.
Governments benefit considerably by having more people within a secure financial system. Increased retail market activity lifts the GDP of a country. International remittances often make up a significant part of an emerging market country's GDP, and having POS-enabled remittances mean more people remit more money more often to their friends and family at home.
Governments can pay employees directly to their mobile phones – much more secure and effective than cash, and much more inclusive and efficient to run than paying cash to those who do not have ordinary bank accounts.
Governments can pay social security direct to mobile phones, ensuring that the right cash goes to the right people, without middle-men. Again, this is much cheaper, more efficient and more effective.
Governments can provide secure the financial inclusion of their people bringing a considerable social benefit. More people find jobs, obtain salaries and start up businesses, benefiting society as a whole.
More information on the innovative and award winning Verifone MobileMoney POS gateway?
The Mobile Money market has lacked a convenient and robust solution for mobile money payment acceptance. VeriFone Mobile Money now delivers much-needed retail enablement services through secure contactless payment acceptance devices and a Mobile Money POS Gateway enabling quick and easy mobile money acceptance at the point-of-sale. The solution was a finalist at the World Communication Awards in 2012 and was also a key factor in mobile operator Digicel’s award for the Best NFC Deployment at the Connected World Forum Awards in Dubai last year.
How can it address KYC challenges in parts of Africa where formal Banking is still limited?
We recommend VeriFone POS devices that incorporate a biometric fingerprint reader, which can be used to quickly and accurately identify an individual. Biometrics can provide further verification that the mobile phone that is being registered to the consumer belongs to the person with that fingerprint. During registration the shopkeeper sights the ID card of the consumer, verifying that their photo is that of the person who is registering the phone and phone number. We can input on the device the person’s physical and email addresses and other details if Nigerian laws require this, or the bank or mobile operators want this. The individual chooses their own Personal Identification Number. The PIN, identity and thumb-print are all encoded and stored. These are then cross-referenced whenever the customer makes a transaction using that phone. The range of options and ease-of-use provided by the POS devices mean the various country standards for Know Your Customer requirements are met.
Extensions to our VeriFone Mobile Money solutions include bringing in microfinance organizations. For loans and other forms of credit, the finance organization itself would prudently undertake further credit checks of customers before lending money. Our infrastructure and solutions are the enabling factors for helping such transactions go ahead – for the consumer to use funds and spend and save. In these further integrations, the microfinance organizations are responsible for further checks when these are necessary (or wanted).
How does the system benefit a mobile payment and Banking agency network?
Our VeriFone Mobile Money solutions are inclusive, fast, easy-to-use and much easier to scale. Implementation can take only a few months. These networks also obviously benefit from VeriFone POS devices being used and trusted in over 110 countries worldwide. Simply put, it works.
Given that low cost Handsets are prevalent in Africa. How will the masses access merchant services with such devices.
Our VeriFone Mobile Money solutions with VeriFone POS devices support all mobile handsets in the market - from the latest smart phones to the simplest of GSM phones.. The VeriFone Mobile Money solutions for emerging markets make use of inclusive NFC (e.g. NFC stickers), biometrics, and existing GPRS, USSD and SMS infrastructure to provide convenient mobile money acceptance services for every participating mobile subscriber.
What should delegates expect from VeriFone Mobile Money at the MobileMoneyExpo in Feb?
Many delegates will know about VeriFone's leadership in POS solutions. They will now see that VeriFone Mobile Money solutions using VeriFone’s range of POS devices – including mobile POS devices for smart phones – are essential ingredients for successful mobile money deployments. They will see that there is a very clear opportunity to extend the reach of mobile money into the retail environment, and that those who do not select the right solutions will be left behind. VeriFone Mobile Money solutions give mobile money providers that next leap forward required to deliver the financial inclusion services that the people of Nigeria want and need.