Interview: MobileMoney Freemium concept a raising trend - Nnamdi Oranye
HEAD, Busines Developement, Indian Atlantic Telecoms,SA.
He will be chairing the 4th MOBILEMONEYEXPO conference in Lagos, Feb 2014.
MMA:Your views of the African mobile financial services landscape in the last one year:
The Mobile Financial Services landscape in Africa in the past year has definitely been a vibrant one. More and more people are becoming educated about Mobile Financial Services – both in the business and consumer space. What this means is that there should be an increase in the uptake and implementation of Mobile Financial Services deployments in Africa in the coming years.
MMA:What has changed and how can Africa improve on it.
I believe that more Mobile Financial Services deployments are becoming more aware that a deployment is more than implementing technology, and that it involves a lot of education to foster adoption, as well as tailoring the Mobile Financial Services product to suit the local market. We've seen quite a number of re-deployments across Africa – taking learnings from their earlier deployments to ensure success in their local markets.
MMA:What are the major trends in the mobilemoney space in 2013?
One of the up coming trends I saw in 2013 is the freemium concept – making mobile money free.. Whilst this is not applicable to all deployments, we did see quite a number of deployments that hadn't reached critical mass or forecast projections, open to the idea. This eventually will tie into Big Data which as we know is one of the key technology trends in 2013.
MMA:How is regulation and interoperability impacting the adoption of services across AFRICA?
Generally, regulation and interoperability can be seen to have an adverse impact on innovation, BUT based on communication with regulators and MNO's in 2013, the general opinion is that they are quite open to working together to ensure the financial inclusion mandate for their local market. I believe we will continue to see such relationships grow in the next coming years.
MMA:Specifically in West Africa, what should be done to unlock the potentials of the market and improve adoption.
Without a doubt, education on the benefits of Mobile Financial Services to consumers in West Africa is paramount. Based on some very loose conversations, the average West African seems to know about Mobile Money but does not know of the benefits. Education would go a long way to improve adoption.
MMA:How is your organization contributing to the mobile money industry in Africa?
We focus on assisting and implementing Mobile Financial Services deployments and we've developed our proprietary Business Process Toolkit that assists any Mobile Financial Services deployment with an effective roll out. Additionally, we bridge the gap between technology vendors and Mobile Financial Services operators to ensure that the Financial Inclusion mandate is met in the local market.
MMA:Your outlook for mobilemoney Nigeria in 2014.
Very vibrant. I believe the Mobile Money market in Africa is moving out of infancy into maturity stage. This is evident by the significant growth in Mobile Money deployments across Africa in the past 12 months. 2014 promises to see a rise in active consumer usage of Mobile Money.
MMA:What should delegates expect at the 4th MobileMoneyExpo as the conference chair?
Delegates should expect a spirited debate amongst speakers on pressing issues that need solutions. The tough questions would hopefully be answered, and delegates will leave a bit more educated on how to improve their local mobile money deployments.