20 Jun 2011
High mobile penetration and limited banking facilities are driving the growth of mobile banking in emerging markets. Tavess estimates that mobile money subscribers in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa will cross 1 billion by 2015, with India alone accounting for over 100 million users.
Enabling purchases and transfers using mobile devices as wallet, mobile money has become an imperative service particularly in areas with high mobile penetration and limited banking facilities. In these areas, operators are laying strong emphasis on providing enhanced mobile banking services that are increasingly being adopted by consumers who are looking for secure and convenient banking and bill payment options.
Well established in the African countries, Mobile money is in its nascent stage in India. But the close to 800 million mobile subscribers and the huge unbanked rural population makes India a very attractive destination for this service. The Reserve Bank of India has been easing stringent regulations pertaining to mobile banking, including lifting some transaction caps.
This coupled with a and new interbank mobile payment service launched by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), is laying the groundwork for the increased roll-out and adoption of mobile money.
NPCI is currently receiving a lukewarm response, with 10 million users registered for interbank mobile payment service recording transactions worth only 15 million rupees ($330,000) in April 2011. However, Tavess expects greater adoption of mobile money in the near future with service providers launching customer education campaigns and easy to use functionalities – taking the total subscriber base to 100 million by 2015.
The mobile money service mChek has seen the maximum uptake in the Indian market with two million subscribers followed by NG Pay with one million and others (such as , Airtel Money, PayMate and Mobile Money Services - Nokia’s initiative along with Yes bank).
As compared to India, the African and the Middle Eastern countries are quite mature in the adoption and usage of mobile money.
Africa has several successful mobile money deployments with Maroc Telecom operating in Morocco, Zain in Uganda, Niger, Malawi, and Sierra Leone, MTN and Vodacom in South Africa, Vodofone in Eqypt, and many more.