Building awareness & trust: The foundation of mobile money adoption

While mobile money adoption is growing exponentially in some countries like Kenya, others are not experiencing the same level of growth. Take for instance Nigeria where mobile money payment was introduced to the country in 2009, but 15 years on, only 1% of 154 million active mobile phone users are using their devices as a means of payment. Of course, each market has its unique challenges, but the most common reason for slow adoption is a lack of trust and awareness amongst merchants and their customers. In fact, stakeholders in Nigeria’s e-payment system including banks and Telco’s agreed last year at a conference that poor awareness and absence of trust are significant challenges for Nigeria’s mobile money penetration. In this blog, we explain how your organisation can build awareness and trust so that the full potential of mobile money can be realized.

Target audience

First off, it is important to know from the outset who your target audience is and how best to communicate with them. Some audiences may be illiterate, so the radio or TV will prove to be more efficient than print for instance. Also, your outreach can be adjusted according to the needs of various demographic groups. For example, bright and vibrant promotional material appeals more to the younger generation. The Tigo Cash campaign is a good example-its message was well received by its target audience: young urban students.

Relevancy & convenience

Once you know who your target audience is and how to capture their attention, it is important to get an understanding of what is relevant to them and creates convenience and value. It is important to remember that while mobile money offers many benefits, some may not be relevant to your customers. A major stumbling block for mobile money, for instance, is cash as it is still king in many developing markets. The most significant task here is to prove that the benefits of mobile payment outweigh those of cash. An excellent example of this in practice is MTN Côte d’Ivoire’s Youtap Pay which not only increases transaction speed and security, but it also overcomes a challenge for merchants and customers– availability of small change. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is difficult for merchants to make difference but Youtap Pay offers the ability to give and receive small change into a mobile money account. In another Youtap case study, Airtel Gabon introduced their ‘tap and pay’ solution to their customers who do not yet have smartphones but have a basic mobile phone.


By reaching out more effectively to your target audiences and offering them relevant mobile money solutions that create even more convenience than cash, they will be more inclined to trust the service or product being advertised. Once you have created awareness of the new solution or product, ensure its reliability and simplicity. Complexity and unreliability of a solution can very quickly lead to distrust of the product and the organisation. Once this happens, it is difficult to win back that trust. The customer journey from unawareness to regular usage presents many challenges that often stem from a complete lack of knowledge (and misconception) of the service and its various benefits. As a result, operators need to choose their marketing strategies very carefully to develop awareness and trust. Keep an eye out for our next blog which will cover off moving from the awareness phase into building regular usage.

Youtap uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.