What is the next big revolution in Mobile Financial Services?


Abstract – This post was originally published on 26-June-2014 on Linkedin. Mobile Money or M-Money refers to financial transactions or services that can be carried out using a mobile device what ever this is but for Payments Revolution; Speed is The King.  Very popular phenomena on internet “If you are looking for the next big thing, and you are looking where everyone else is, you are looking in the wrong place”, does not fit atleast in fintech domain. Mobile financial services may  or may not necessarily link directly to your bank account but still give all working of bank account and much more on top.

Previously, recharging a prepaid mobile number meant adding more airtime but now we are able to add money to it, keep our credit cards, loyalty point coupons, access our bank accounts and use it like our ordinary wallet for payments. Innovations in mobile money have made a drastic change in the way people pay for goods and services.

Introduction – A very interesting fact in the mobile financial industry is we usually receive funds once or twice a month as part of salary or fee but spending is done at least thrice a day, sometimes over 5 times. This method of spending is known as micro-payment/micro-spending. Putting in numbers, this can go into billions of dollars; an easy example: if we start charging 1 cent per transaction as commission for micro-payments through NFC (the stored value card technology) for food, drinks, snacks, petrol, tolls, souvenirs or any similar purchase each one of us spend minimum $5 a day (assumed at 40% of world population) then the total commission earnings will be to the tune of $4.3 billion per month. This market has clearly not been explored that well and this also goes straight into Mobile Money Market as potential plug.

Main Story – The main drivers behind the success of mobile money are the explosive growth in the number of ‎mobile devices and the fall in the cost of computing power, which have lowered the barriers to ‎new entrants in this field. Mobile money (m-money) is quite versatile and can support a variety ‎of services, in particular, person to person (P2P) money transfers, which are of significant value ‎for emerging economies. The other key driver for this is the inaccessibility of banking services to the general populace mainly due to poor infrastructure and lack of trust in local banks by country fellowmen and companies.

Mobile Payments will be 64 billion USD market by 2019 as World is running to get their bite of share from Payment cake including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and many many other BIG players. Why cant you and me get some small dust out of it. NFC is use since ages but never gorton attraction and attention we all know technically NFC is a wireless communication technology that permits data transfer over distances of up to 10 cm based on the ISO/IEC 18092 standard. Based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, it has been used in various industries including retail, automobile, medical, transportation and manufacturing.

The primary uses of NFC are

• Connect electronic devices, such as wireless components in a home office system or a headset with a mobile phone.

• Access digital content, using a wireless device such as a cell phone to read a “smart” poster embedded with an RFID tag.

• Make contactless transactions, including those for payment, access and ticketing.

(Source Google) Banks will certainly have to judge whether the massive investment they could make, in order to challenge the spreading popularity of payment systems such as PayPal, will be worthwhile, given that PayPal has gained ‘first mover’ advantage and that as highly-regulated financial service companies with duties to both national and continental authorities, they have to abide by stricter rules and security protocols.

They must also judge whether their customers will move with them into a new more agile, flexible and electronic future, or whether a majority of people actively prefer the new, low cost (or free) services that have sprung up as part of the digital revolution. Banks, for their part, will continue to work hard to convince customers that they have their interests at heart and are introducing new payment systems in order to make their lives easier and save them money, while maintaining their security.

The main drivers behind the success of mobile money are the explosive growth in the number of mobile devices and the fall in the cost of computing power, which have lowered the barriers to new entrants in this field. Mobile money (m-money) is quite versatile and can support a variety of services, in particular, person to person (P2P) money transfers, which are of significant value for emerging economies.

Broadly speaking, m-money refers to financial transactions and services that can be carried out using a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet. These financial transactions and services are sometimes referred to as mobile financial services and may or may not be linked directly to a bank account. The year 2012 was turned out to be a very busy year for mobile money, with a number of articles in the news and companies like Starbucks announcing their mobile money plans each week. The terms “m-money”, “mobile financial services” and “e-money” are used quite often in technical reports and in the media.

Sign-tIn conclusion, the time has now come for banks and other entities with an interest in financial service provision, to step up as one single team, exploit technology and leverage on existing MNO infrastructure to acquire customers, enrich use cases, lower costs and increase revenue especially in markets where regulators (such as reserve banks) play a dominant role, controlling almost everything in the financial sector and are averse to allowing MNOs to start opening banking branches in the absence of a banking license.

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