Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mobile Money in Europe set to take off

As is the case with most lasting changes, mobile money is not replacing cash in one fell swoop. While things do take time and it is often experienced as very slow, this change is only slow in terms of the perception. Replacing cash with electronic payment mechanisms (many of them based on the mobile phone) is an unstoppable force that will fundamentally change the way that we pay.

Once again, another proof-point can be found in a recent study conducted by Frost and Sullivan (Read here). According to this study the Western European mobile money market is set to take off and will be worth up to EUR5 billion by 2013. The report highlights the fact that it is both mobile operators and banks that are getting involved with mobile money and this time they are serious. They follow evolutionary strategies where consumers are given rudimentary services first - to get them comfortable with the concept. Over time, the services are getting more and more sophisticated and will gather more subscribers according to the research.

It seems as if mobile money is now turning into a run-away train: as it gains momentum it becomes virtually impossible to stop. I suppose the lesson here is that one should rather get on the train, while the speed is not too big. Comes a time when it will not be possible to get on.

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