Mobile Payments –  Almost every day, we hear about new FinTech startups that are springing up all over the world. As most of them have technology experience but almost zero experience in the banking or payment space, this makes this game more interesting. Because of their technology experience, the new entrants are making sure their products are best of class, with artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and data science at the bottom of every solution.

Did you remember my post from June 2014? You can find it here. Will banks ever be successful in mobile money or payments?

Lets Just Get Started – Payments and Banking

The new technologies along with futuristic techs will make this game gets more interesting though. Technologies like 5G, 6G(still a theoretical point), quantum computing will make sure that there is no paper or even plastic money at all in the near future. 

Dotfinance Panel

Enjoyed a great panel on #fintech #mobilemoney & products for next billion consumers with industry leaders. In April met excellent leaders from west and north Africa at  NGT Summit in Pretoria – South Africa and now in 1st week of May met with another set of good people in Nairobi-Kenya at dot finance Africa. Here is the link for my presentation at South Africa.  Africa is far ahead from rest of the world.

Mobile Money and Mobile Payments

Cutting-edge innovations will elevate Fintech excitement and futuristic technology will appeal to new heights. In the near future, the utilization of novel technologies such as 5G, future 6G, and quantum computing will render paper or plastic currency obsolete.

Africa is the land of mobile money, and mobile is the most frequently used and widely accepted technological device of any other. Financial services are a key need for most people due to almost negligible banking penetration, and it makes sense to enable mobile devices with a set of financial tools and features as mobile handset penetration is more than 10 to 15 times higher than banking. The finance sector can take advantage of mobile devices to penetrate all classes of society, so the birth of mobile money

  1. Mobile money services were essentially for unbanked and underprivileged customers.
  2. Mobile money is supposed to improve life for the lower segment of society by
    1. Domestic remittances from cities to villages
    2. Availability of agents to withdraw cash
    3. Building Savings Culture
  3. Acceptability of mobile money under Mobile Financial Services was the biggest breakthrough.
  4. The role of a mobile money agent is crucial and very critical for the success of the service.
  5. Who can be an agent and how agent distribution needs to be plotted on a city or country map are also very critical.
    1. Mobile money refers to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Instead of paying with cash, a check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods.
    2. In developing countries, mobile money solutions have been deployed as a means of extending financial services to the community known as the “unbanked” or “underbanked,” which is estimated to be as much as 50% of the world’s adult population.
  6. How Mobile Money Improves the Lives of the Lower Segment of Society
    1. Mobile money is mostly used for domestic remittances. Remittance transactions are usually from cities to villages. They emanate from the need for the working class to take care of their kin in rural areas. International remittances are also taking a good share of this pie.
    2. Mobile money thrives on accessibility of services, and a wide agent network in both cities and rural areas is required.
    3. Savings clubs have been a recent addition to mobile money services, and this has assisted club members to save up in an easy and electronic way outside the banking system.
  7. Acceptability of Mobile Money
    1. Over the years, the acceptability of mobile money as a payment medium has improved, with most economies embarking on a cashless society drive to reduce dependence on paper currency.
    2. Most vendors, retailers, and transport operators accept mobile payment as an alternative to cash due to its elimination of cash handling expenses and risks.
    3. The introduction of NFC-driven payments has revolutionized the market for micropayments.
  8. Role and importance of agents
    1. The success of mobile money heavily depends on accessibility.
    2. The agent is the primary access channel for mobile money as it conducts agent-centered transactions like registrations, cash in, and cash out transactions.
    3. Agents trade mobile money for a commission.
    4. They also act as the first point of contact for subscribers, and it is prudent for a mobile money operator to invest in agent education.
  9. Who can or should be an agent?
    1. Agent qualification criteria are defined by the operator after considering the requirements of the regulator.
    2. Individuals and companies can qualify to be agents, and they have to meet the required KYC requirements.
    3. The operator’s agent officers are responsible for recruiting and managing relations with the agents.
    4. The density of agents has to be predefined by the operator to maintain the profitability of agents as well as their accessibility to subscribers.

Mobile Money & Mobile Payments

Although Mobile Money had been designed as a peer-to-peer payment system, it has gone much beyond the basic idea, and as of today, it helps with utility bill payments, airtime topup, micro-savings, micro-loans, etc., and this forms mobile payment ecosystems. Africa, especially the eastern and southern parts, is the home of mobile money. Mobile payments are the most frequently used and widely accepted technological payment instruments.

Mobile Payments

While financial services are a requirement for many, not everyone can easily avail themselves of the services offered by traditional banking institutions. Developing tools and features for mobile devices that can assist with financial management is a wise move. The reason behind it is that a significantly larger number of individuals possess mobile devices in comparison to those who possess bank accounts or dental hygiene equipment.


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Posted by V Sharma

A Technology Specialist boasting 22+ years of exposure to Fintech, Insuretech, and Investtech with proficiency in Data Science, Advanced Analytics, AI (Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Deep Learning), and Blockchain (Trust Assessment, Tokenization, Digital Assets). Demonstrated effectiveness in Mobile Financial Services (Cross Border Remittances, Mobile Money, Mobile Banking, Payments), IT Service Management, Software Engineering, and Mobile Telecom (Mobile Data, Billing, Prepaid Charging Services). Proven success in launching start-ups and new business units - domestically and internationally - with hands-on exposure to engineering and business strategy. "A fervent Physics enthusiast with a self-proclaimed avocation for photography" in my spare time.


  1. Excellent work


  2. Rob. Shanguro at

    Dear Vinod

    Kindly share presentation on


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