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FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

The 3 best practices mobile money operators in Asia can adopt

6 in 10 consumers hate services that are not user-friendly.

Visa Inc. and Fundamo, the Visa-owned mobile money platform, today announced the results of a study that reveals consumers in six developing countries are already highly aware of mobile money services – the ability to make payments or send funds simply by accessing an account on their mobile phone. Nearly 90 percent of consumers surveyed by Visa expressed interest in making use of these services in the future. 

Consumers, mobile money agents, and merchants in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan were surveyed, and here are some of the best practices that emerged out of the Visa Mobile Money study:

Listen to Your Customers
The results of Visa’s study suggest that fine tuning how a mobile money operator markets its service can have an impact on consumers’ desire to adopt such a service. For example, the study found that “safe keeping” rather than “saving” money is a primary driver for why consumers in developing countries are interested in using mobile money services.

This suggests that mobile money providers should invest in additional research to better understand their customers’ needs, tailor information, education and marketing efforts to the needs of consumers and mobile money agents, and adopt local terminology.

“One key learning from this study could be summarized as ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’,” said Gavin Krugel, Head of Emerging Market Customer Strategy and Market Activation, Visa Inc. “This single insight has massive implications for the vernacular used in mobile money menu structures, the education of mobile money agents and consumers, and creation of mass market advertising.”

Ensure mobile money services are easy to use and offer a transparent fee structure
Ease of use was listed as the biggest barrier to adoption by survey respondents (64%). Consumers, merchants, and agents alike also cited the importance of offering a clear pricing structure as a key need ofa mobile money program. Individuals are price sensitive and evaluate alternative options meticulously.

For  example, the cost of calls was the primary reason for choosing a mobile network operator in five of the six markets surveyed.

Build an extensive mobile money agent network
Not having prevalent accessibility to mobile money agents is ranked as a key barrier to the adoption of mobile money. In order to drive adoption, cash and customer service will need to be readily accessible to meet expectations. 54% of consumers cited quick and easy access to cash as a key benefit of mobile money. 

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