Are There Any Alternative Uses For Mobile Money?

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mobilemoney

This is a sequel to my article, Why Is Mobile Money In Nigeria Targeting The Banked?

Both mobile money and mobile banking provide the same benefits – funds transfer, and purchase of services and goods. They just provide it differently, and to two different demographics. Mobile banking is deployed for people who have bank accounts, while mobile money serves the unbanked. But what is accomplished with both services are the same, namely:

  • Send Money
  • Withdraw Money
  • Buy Airtime
  • Pay for goods and Services

So, we see that mobile money to the banked is a mere duplication of mobile banking. The only use I can think of that someone with a bank account would have for mobile money is to use it to transfer/send funds to unbanked individuals. But even that use is largely redundant, as most mobile money services allow you to transfer funds from your bank account to a mobile money account. So, we are back to square one. In my opinion, it is this duplication of services across the two that makes it a hopeless thing to expect mobile money to boom in developed economies where most people have a bank account and mobile banking is widely deployed. Mobile money would be largely redundant in such places. Examples are Europe and North America.

However, at least one person has suggested to me that mobile money can be adapted to serve the banked in ways that it does not duplicate services already available via mobile banking. Based on this, she believes that mobile money can work in say, Europe. I am yet to find one single such adaptation. However, I am all open to the possibilities. If you know of any such adaptations, do share please. Thanks in advance for your contributions.

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2 comments

  1. Mobile Banking is an extension of normal banking
    Mobile Money is a whole new game.

    The banked is the easiest tool for advertising MobileMoney

  2. Not all services in developed economies can take advantage of mobile banking. That works on the premise that all banks do mobile banking – they may do internet banking but not necessarily mobile banking. Bearing in mind that most people, even children, have to have a bank account in some form to do most of the transactions mentioned in the article. Most banks require you to use a card reader to carry out many transactions or even log on to online banking. You may be able to top-up at a cash point with your bank card, but for everything else you either do it online or in/at the branch.

    You cannot necessarily pay for a parking ticket using mobile banking. Neither can you pop into Starbucks or wherever and use mobile banking to pay for goods or services. It simply makes a simple service convoluted to do that.

    Barclays bank has a banking app, which is different to their PingIt service. The objective of mobile money in this case, whether via PingIt or NFC or “wave” payments, is to enable people to make smaller transactions from their accounts, or a pocket of money, rather than having to do a full banking transaction or using a debit/credit card.

    If I want to send money to my friend Milli who has a different bank to mine, I can use PingIt to send the money to her account. Even if she doesn’t have a mobile phone, she will get a text telling her the money is in her account. She doesn’t even have to use PingIt for me to do this. Unlike the African equivalent, it leaves out the agent who she would have to go to in order to collect the money.

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