Mobile money agents seek clear pricing for services

THE NATION

JANUARY 10,2013 

 

Consumers, merchants and other agents of mobile money are demanding a clear pricing structure for the effective implementation.

According to a survey conducted by Visa Incorporated, respondents said individuals are price sensitive and also evaluate alternative options carefully. The survey analysed the financial services needs and expectations of mobile money among about 2,500 consumers, mobile money agents, and merchants in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Ninety per cent of consumers expressed interest in making use of these services in the future, but cited costs of calls as the primary reason for choosing a mobile network operator.

Also, lack of prevalent accessibility to mobile money agents was ranked as a key barrier to the adoption of mobile money. It said to drive adoption, cash and customer service will need to be accessible to meet expectations even as 54 per cent of consumers cited quick and easy access to cash as a key benefit of mobile money.

The study also found that security concerns associated with carrying cash and the need to quickly send money to family members living far away are among the key drivers of mobile money adoption.

The Visa study suggested that the success of mobile financial services is determined by how deeply a mobile money provider understands its customers and tailors the service to the needs of consumers and mobile money agents – from service menus, to marketing and education.

It also found there is high awareness of mobile money services and capabilities among consumers in developing economies. “Eighty- one per cent of consumers surveyed intend to use mobile money to send money to family members, 56 per cent to pay utility bills and 52 per cent to save money for their family.The primary driver to adopt mobile financial services is the need to protect funds from theft and the ability to more easily send funds and pay bills,” it said.

“Not having prevalent accessibility to mobile money agents is ranked as a key barrier to the adoption of mobile money. In order to drive adoption, cash and customer service will need to be readily accessible to meet expectations. Fifty- four per cent of consumers cited quick and easy access to cash as a key benefit of mobile money,” it said.

The study included in-depth qualitative and quantitative research on money management needs, habits and practices as well as factors that need to be addressed for the adoption of mobile money services.

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