Monday, February 16, 2009

mBanking, mPayments and mRemittances

It is interesting how the industry is being segmented at the moment. I am frequently asked if we at Fundamo provide mBanking, mPayments and/or mRemittances services. I have severe difficulties in making this destinction. I have been offered explanations by a number of people, but would be interested in finding one's that make sense.

The way that I see the world, all three of these are sides of the same coin. It is clear that mRemittances are just mPayments with the added complexity of currency management, unless the Remittances are domestic transfers in which case they are the same. Providing you can recognise that mPayments should not be limited to retail payments, but should include person to person payments, of course. As a matter of fact person to person payments could (and often are) just retail payments, when the recipient person is a trader.

Banking is banking, but mBanking is all about transacting. The biggest advantage that mobile brings is that one can now perform high volume banking transactions. (Like paying bills, and crediting and debiting bank accounts). This is pretty much my understanding of payments (at least electronic payments - crediting and debiting accounts with the same transactions).

What is that? Oh, you are asking what about balance enquiries and statements - surely those are mbanking functionality. Have you ever tried to implement mpayment solutions without a balance enquiry and access to statement requests?

1 comment:

Álvaro Martín said...

We faced the same issue when developing a conceptual framework for mobile financial services in Latin America.

Our conclusion was that, besides the transformational character of particular solutions, the most important distinction lies in whether the value store is a bank account or not.