MNO Mobile Money Wallets are struggling to remain relevant

Mobile money has driven financial inclusion with over 1bn mobile money accounts in 95 countries processing over $1.9bn worth of transactions daily.

Consumers and SME’s are familiar with the benefits that mobile money provides, but they want more from their service providers. The time has come for the MNO’s to look at what the digital agency banks are doing and transform the mobile money business model to remain relevant to their customers and small businesses.

Merchants are the forgotten opportunity, with MNO’s trying to provide merchant payment solutions from their consumer wallet solutions, often failing to address these SME’s requirements. Providing a QR code or USSD short code linked to a consumer wallet and calling it merchant payments does not satisfy the definition of merchant payments, nor does it address these merchants’ needs.

Life has moved on from cash in, cash out, and money transfer for consumers. MNO’s need to address the growing needs of Gen-Z and Millennials’ who are the largest proportion of smartphone users in their customer base. These users want flexibility, want innovation, want a smart App, and certainly want their application to reward them for their use and helps them make decisions by providing them with the reporting and analytics they need to manage their lives. With Digital banks springing up across the traditional mobile money countries, MNO’s will soon find it difficult with their outdated mobile money solutions to remain relevant in this app-based world.

The terminology of open and closed-loop processing has become synonymous with mobile money, with a variety of platform providers still promoting one or other of these solutions to their customers. The reality is that Consumers and SME’s alike want to use their mobile financial services anywhere, and at any time, they don’t understand open and closed loop.

Merchants want to accept any payment type; they don’t want multiple QR codes, POS terminals, or USSD shortcodes. They want a solution that takes all payment types and provides them with the tools they need to grow their business, e.g., cashbook management, supply chain ordering, microfinance, payment acceptance, and loyalty rewards for their customers. They want to accept eMoney and Scheme card payments, and above all, they want to do this with minimal or no fees.

Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s), including many of Youtap’s customers globally, are now embracing the opportunities that this ever-changing market brings. They are deploying cloud-based solutions that take the cost and pain away from their traditional platforms and provides them with the tools they need to remain relevant to their business and consumer customers.

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