In addition, lack of accessibility to mobile money agents, mobile network reliability, communication and education appear to be major barriers, preventing activation and usage of mobile money accounts.

Best Practices

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 of a 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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