Mobile Economy is the “in-thing “ now. The number of users using their mobile phones to make transactions and buy good and services is increasing day by day. Mobile money as we know it involves Mobile banking, M-commerce and wallet services. The rise of mobile payments in recent days has got people referring 2015 as the Year of Mobile Payments.
We have seen drastic improvements in the way transactions happen. People are increasingly switching from physical and web based digital banking from their desktops to mobile phones. It should come as a surprise, as most of the smartphones available out there in the market are more powerful than a full-fledged desktop 5 years ago. The increasing shift from conventional to mobile-based transactions in Europe is well documented in the recent report published by ING.
Even though the mobile payment options have been out there for a while now, people are waking up to it now, almost a decade later. If you start counting, you will only find a handful of people who have used NFC or other payment options available on their phones. It is the same case with the much-discussed Apple Pay. It is reported that less than 15 percent of iPhone 6 users have ever tried Apple Pay.
The real heroes in the mobile money and payments sector are players like M-Pesa and other similar wallets that provide access to mobile banking services to the unbanked in the developing world. Unlike other mobile banking and payment solutions, M-Pesa and its counterparts are available even on feature phones. These services are not app based but work on USSD and simple STK technology making them a huge success in developing world. M-Pesa alone is responsible for over 66% of overall transactions in Kenya. BitPesa is another such service that works seamlessly with M-Pesa to enable fund transfer through bitcoins. By using bitcoin, BitPesa drastically reduces the transaction fee in comparison to those offered by conventional money transfer services.
The success of mobile payments is dependent on its simplicity and accessibility. It is essential to ensure that these services are available for everyone, everywhere irrespective of the make and model of their mobile devices.