Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bill payment integrations to mobile wallets in Africa

Mobile payment solutions cover Africa with basic services including domestic remittances, person to person payments and airtime top-up capabilities. All of these are only possible because of "cash-in" and "cash-out" features installed at agents. Even these are amazing on their own, but these solutions are not constrained by these basic features.

Many examples of integrating mobile wallets with bill payment applications can be found. This is an area that shows a lot of growth. Either deployed by mainstream brands or also by small entrepreneurs, this is an area that requires further investigation. Some examples are the following:
  • Celpay (one of the pioneers of mobile banking in Africa) provides payment solutions for multiple billers in the countries that they operate (Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania) (Read here)
  • MTN Mobile Money recently implemented a "bulk payment" capability that allows companies to offer new payment solutions. This application is currently utilised most for the payment of salaries (Read here)
  • M-Sente (a mobile wallet provider in Uganda) recently announced the launch of MultiChoice payments. (MultiChoice is a regional payTV provider) (Read here)
The rate of innovation and launching new services on multiple live products in Africa is an indication of the health of the industry in emerging markets.

1 comment:

Victor Asemota said...

One simple reason Bill Payments has not shown significant adoption is that Bills are based on a subscription model, usually recurring and planned but a majority of Africa is used to the "Pay as you go" model with payments made when needed. The "Pay as you go" model works because it helps people manage disposable income. Subscriptions to services like Multichoice is still very much a "Middle or Upper Class thing". The man on the street lives free without ties unless there is a service provider that can make him an offer he cant refuse. Loyalty is the key and it has been ignored in Mobile Payments