Financial Inclusion

Mobile Money – Subscribers Thoughts, Experience and Expectations

Mobile Money – Subscribers Thoughts, Experience and Expectations – How and what mobile money subscriber thinks about their experience of mobile money journey.  Lot has been said on how to design, what to design, how to price, what all services to give (From service provider mindset). What customer wants, what customer understand and thinks in mind about this whole drama (For a layman it’s a drama/movie where he/she is an actor on the side) is not visible.

 

Will Talk About Mobile Money Here

Financial inclusion is all about accessibility and affordability. If we look at this story from eyes of financial inclusion driver’s point of view then the ministry of innovation will demand new “ministry of needs”.  The new ministry will be able to project this story better for the nation and its people.

All big brothers getting fond of magic or the sticky word “PAY” and coming out every day with 2-3 names ending with Pay like “abcPay”, “thisPay” “thatPay” or even adding word “Pay” to their current well established and well-known brand names.

Almost all (if not all) solutions today following anti clock style design. These solutions come out first with no problem in hand. Reference in the last sentence is in relation to Mobile Financial Services.

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There is no dull day in Payments business these days. The unglamorous world of clearing and settlement is a recipient of generous attention due to continuous launches of visible overlay propositions, often by non-banks.

 

What are the core elements of Mobile Money

We believe embedding core elements in mobile money proposition and delivery models will enable players to “play to win” in these turbulent times. The crux for financial inclusion is to give fair access to financial services to everyone. The cost, KYC requirements and methods to use are key elements to win. If these goals left out of the core model then this will become history and legacy to a new age.

Play to win for financial inclusion needs new sight and vision “un-develop to innovate”. Innovation or new breakthrough cant be achieved if one also looks at the same point where the rest of the world is. Anyone can be financially excluded, as a result of the economic downturn we believe many more people then usual are struggling financially.

The classic example here can be this; after an individual spent 17 years of life at school for learning. On top gain 10 years of industry experience still in front of an interviewer who makes efforts with help of 2 pager CV to access in less than 10 minutes. The interviewer asks 4 questions and judges capabilities. Better is we should learn the difference between being data-informed and data-driven.

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As per wiki “Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society, in contrast to financial exclusion where those services are not available or affordable.”

In a typical setup of mobile money, the model customer wants to make use of their funds present in the wallet. To date, no MNO/MFS service provider of mobile money is able to assure this. Agents run out of liquidity almost every day. One day “Agent ABC” another day “Agent XYZ” are stories we hear out load. Some smart efforts are required to tackle this sadly which is not on agenda for most of MFS service providers.

 

Agents Network Distribution – Golden Key for Mobile Money

Agents some time to play tricks or run out of float due to their lack of knowledge or interest in their own business.

People that are financially excluded are often not able to access affordable credit. This problem goes beyond normal services as Mobile Money agents also face the same issue. Agents who are so-called touch points to solve this problem, this is like a problem where doctor treating disease ABC and die coz of the same himself which is not at all good sign. People in this segment are not willing to experience difficulties in obtaining a bank account anyways.

Example a mobile money user go and cash in to Agent ABC in area XYZ which is close to his/her home/office and 2 days later the same person now needs cash so go backs to same agent in same area and meet the same individual in shop and ask for funds and gets surprised of his/her life when Agent says sorry I don’t have money please find at some other agent.

In this case subscriber with no knowledge on how this thing works; will start buildingmobile-money incorrect perceptions and feel unsecured about money and in some cases might cry his/her heart out and only ask one question, “where is my money etc”. If this case is not handled well then the game is over.

The success of mobile money heavily depends on accessibility. The agent is the primary access channel for mobile money as the conducting agent centred transaction like registrations, cash in and cashes out transactions. Agents trade money for a commission. They also act, as the first contact for subscribers and it is prudent for a mobile money operator to invest in agent education.

In the above example, if the agent gets failed to explain and convince the subscriber or customer about what has happened to his/her money and how money can be accessed from that day particular customer is lost. The operator defines agent qualification criterion after considering the requirements of the regulator. The density of agents has to be predefined by the operator to maintain the profitability of agents as well as accessibility to subscribers.

Financial inclusion is defined in many ways or in many words; some time in poor English and some time in excellent English but this is just the ability of an individual, household, or group to access appropriate financial services or products. Without this ability, people are often referred to as financially excluded. So Mobile money needs to find the correct home incorrect environment. Some questions where asked from real user see their response.

 

Points to Note:

All credits if any remains on the original contributor only. We have covered all basics around myth on mobile payments, its models and the importance of quality services. In the next upcoming post will talk about implementation, usage and practice experience for markets.

 

Books + Other readings Referred

  • Research through open internet, news portals, white papers and imparted knowledge via live conferences & lectures.
  • Lab and hands-on experience of  @AILabPage (Self-taught learners group) members.

 

Feedback & Further Question

Do you have any questions about AI, Machine Learning, Telecom billing/charging, Data Science or Big Data Analytics? Leave a question in a comment section or ask via email. Will try best to answer it.

 Hash Tagas : #MobileBanking, #MobileMoney, #Agentbanking


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Conclusion: Mobile Money was mainly for financial inclusion. This service was to give to unbanked customer’s financial service access. Customers who generally shy away from banking halls. This specific category want to access money with ease but with low cost and as per their needs. Mobile money is transactional business not deposit based i.e fundamental bank’s banking model. Banks make money when money is left and forgotten in the account by the customer. In the case of mobile money, the service provider makes money when its transacted.

Countries like India where people have seen from generations that they go to the bank and do all business for free but now if anyone asks for a small fee for their cash handling people raise their eyebrows. Financial Inclusion and profitable business model always struggle to work together.

 

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2 replies »

  1. The article is on point – Strategy about Mobile Money (which essecially is about financila inclusion) should be formed around this key objectives

    – Mobile Money is about easing Domestic Remittance from cities to Villages
    – Mobile Money is about Availability of Agents to Withdral cash
    – Mobile Money is about Building Saving Culture

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