Awareness of mobile money is high
The Visa study found there is high awareness of mobile money services and capabilities among consumers in developing economies. Across the six countries surveyed, average awareness stood at 56% and three countries stood out in particular: In Ghana, awareness was at 93% with MTN identified as the most known mobile money provider; in Pakistan 89% of the public are mobile money aware and easyPaisa is the most recognized brand; and 53% of consumers in Bangladesh were aware of mobile money and identified bKash as the leading brand.
Consumers have complex, sophisticated financial services needs
While many survey participants did not have a formal financial account, several examples of complex and sophisticated money management systems emerged across the six markets. Using a range of techniques, the majority of respondents shared how they set money aside for education, healthcare, emergencies and life events. The majority of consumers surveyed intend to use mobile money to send money to family members (81%), pay utility bills (56%) and save money for their family (52%).
Preventing theft, ability to quickly send money drives adoption
The primary driver and reason to adopt mobile financial services, according to the study, is not to establish formal savings, but rather the need to protect funds from theft and the ability to more easily send funds, pay bills, school fees, etc. Across the six countries, 80% of respondents cited “safety of not having to carry around a lot of cash” as the primary perceived benefit of mobile money, while 63% of respondents listed “speed of getting money to family members living far away” as the second most important benefit.
Ease of use, trust and lack of interoperability are barriers to adoption
Across the countries where surveys took place, respondents cited ease of use (64%), lack of trust in mobile money providers and agents (55%), and lack of interoperability with other mobile money services (28%), as primary barriers to adoption.