What are the emerging markets for mobile payments in EA

Emerging markets, those nations who have a physical financial infrastructure including banks, a stock exchange and a unified currency and whose economy is progressing, offer lucrative opportunities for mobile payments. Especially in East Africa, where mobile payments have gained unparalleled traction for businesses that offer travel bookings, online purchasing, loan payments, or even for consumers who send money to friends and family, emerging markets offer a blue ocean market that begs to be tapped.

There are several reasons why mobile payments and the emerging markets of East Africa are a well-suited match:

  1. Mobile Penetration: Over 70% of Africans have mobile phones.
  2. Bank Underavailability: Brick and mortar banks are inaccessible to most of the African population.
  3. Convenience for Consumers: For payments, transfers, and other banking needs, consumers can easily take advantage of the technology that is always with them: their mobile phones.
  4. Opportune for Businesses: For businesses, setup is quick and easy, they can accept payment away from their primary place of business, and conversion rates are five times higher than credit card transactions.
  5. Heightened Security: mobile payments in East Africa have security functionalities that provide authentication capabilities and passwords and GPS functionality add layers of security that are not present in standard payment processing options.

Leading East African Emerging Markets

According to Forbes’ “Africa’s Emerging Market Boom,” Africa is currently home to five of the world’s fastest growing economies. Considering that mobile payments were first launched in East Africa around 2008, the growth they show in these emerging markets is tremendous:

Tanzania is home to 48.5 million people. In this nation, there are 31.8 million registered mobile money accounts. In one month (September 2013), the total value of mobile money transactions was 2.8 trillion Tanzanian Shillings (which converts to roughly 1.6 Billion US Dollars).

Kenya leads the world in mobile payments with over two-thirds of the adult population there now using their phones to pay for goods and services. 25% of the country’s GNP flows through mobile money systems like M-PESA.

Uganda has a competitive mobile telecommunications landscape. But, with less than 20% of its population holding a traditional bank account or internet connection, mobile payments, mobile money transfer, and mobile banking are a way of life.

Rwanda is demonstrating a robust national economy, with a GDP that has maintained an annual growth of 7 – 8% since 2008 and increased penetration particularly evident in the internet and mobile sectors. As of March 2014, the mobile market penetration rate in Rwanda is 65%.

Mobile Payments in East Africa: The Future

In recent years, African countries have recorded some of the highest economic growth figures in the world, and for them, the technology of the future creates openings for success in realms like mobile payments. Africa is gaining global prominence for disruptive innovation within a number of fields, most of which center around mobile connectivity.

In January, Kenya’s President, Mwai Kibaki, launched an ambitious USD 9 billion technopolis described as “Africa’s Silicon Savannah,” and immediately three international mobile-handset manufacturers had expressed interest in moving their chip-making businesses there. IBM Research has set up its first African science and technology lab in Nairobi.

East Africa’s best and brightest minds are preparing themselves for the surge in growth, in devices, in internet and mobile penetration and the demand for local content and solutions.

The market is ripe for mobile payment solutions that offer efficiency for the emerging markets of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and all of East Africa.

Author

Eran Feinstein is the founder of 3G Direct Pay Limited – a provider of global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries  He is a leading authority in the fields of online payments, e-commerce and travel, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.

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The Red Queen in action: The longitudinal effects of capital investments in the mobile telecommunications sector

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Organizations undertake capital investments in technology to generate revenues or decrease costs, and thereby enhance profitability. However, Red Queen–type responses by competing organizations in the form of rapid imitation and escalating of technology investments erode the ability of the investing organizations to sustain gains in profitability. Productivity gains from these investments may persist, but they may not translate into sustained profitability gains owing to declining prices brought about by a hypercompetitive environment. The emergence and erosion of benefits attributable to capital investments is examined by decomposing profitability into productivity, price recovery, product mix, and capacity utilization, and by regressing each performance measure on past technology investments. A polynomial distributed lag model is estimated with quarterly data for 30 firms in the mobile telecommunications services sector from 1996 to 2005. The results indicate that capital investments are positively associated with productivity of current and future periods, and their association with profitability is only positive in the future (after six quarters). These results highlight a unique outcome of the Red Queen hypothesis: simply by imitating, learning, and investing in technology due to competition is beneficial to all firms in the industry.

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Airtel and Warid Innovate as Sim Registration Deadline Draws Near

Airtel Uganda today at a press conference announced an a couple of innovations that it hopes would speed up the SIM card registration process of its customers as the deadline draws closer.

Among these is;

  • “Partial” Registration introduced.
  •  If you register you get 20 minutes of voice and 20 SMS messages.
  •  Airtel Warid Registered Customers to register any other numbers by simply sending their unregistered number to 197 tolls free.
  •  Unregistered customers to be disconnected by the 30th August 2013
  •  Count down sms message reminders to be sent to customers reminding them of the final registration deadline of 30th August 2013

For the past few months, Uganda Communications Commission, the telecom regulatory body in Uganda has been extending the deadline for SIM card registration. The commission made it clear that telecoms will have to block all those users who failed to register their sim cards in the allocated time.

In line with this policy, Airtel and Warid would like to stress the urgency of the registration exercise to all of its customers who would like to continue using mobile phone services but have still not registered despite the numerous deadline extensions.

A final deadline for 31st August has been put in place by the regulator. If any user has not yet registered by that date, they will be blocked and will have to go and fully register before they can re access mobile services.

To ease the registration process, Airtel and Warid have made an exciting offer of partial registration where a customer during this period will have the chance to register and have their phones exempted from blocking. Partial registration also means that the customers will not be affected by the 31st August deadline despite the fact that they have not yet fully registered.

If any customer is already registered with us and has another number to register they should send it using the registered number by sms to 197 and it will automatically be added to their registration data.

The post Airtel and Warid Innovate as Sim Registration Deadline Draws Near appeared first on TechPost.

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Orange Uganda Launches 4G LTE — Boasts of Superiority

In 2009, when Orange came to the market, UTL had 3G working at 2G speed. It’s not about advertising. Figures give facts; 3.75 or 3.9 are not worldwide standards. Our policy is to be straight forward with customers and give them the best service. — Philippe Luxcey, C.E.O Orange Uganda

The same message of superiority and efficiency was echoed over and over at  Orange Uganda’s 4G LTE launch that was held today, 31st July. Max Rukundo, Head of marketing, arguably noted that the service was different from others in a way that it is purely mobile and seamless. This means that with the same device, one is automatically switched to 2G or 3G depending on coverage. He further explained why Orange took it’s time to develop a standard network and avail the best browsing experience to it’s customers.

Amazing speeds, amazing

The amazingly fast speeds by Orange’s 4G LTE coverage can currently be accessed in Kampala  but will be expanded subsequently throughout the year. At the live demo held, a youtube video from a 4G LTE network was setup against a 3G network; the former playing at full speed without buffering at all. Also, another demo entailed a very crisp and clear Google hangout from the press room to an unnamed Orange worker who was driving through Kampala streets. This is because of the kind of technology used which is the best in 4G LTE — FDD technology broadcasting at 800MHz frequency band which is good enough for indoor coverage.

Backward compatibility

Whilst browsing on the 4G LTE network, one remains online despite movement out of geographical coverage. This is because the network drops to 3G or 2G so that the browsing experience continues. Other providers don’t have this kind of compatibility. Also, a 4G LTE enabled device for example a router, modem/dongle or even a smartphone can tether/share internet to 3G devices at absolutely the same cost.

Accessibility

The 4G LTE dongle/modem from Orange is UGX 229,000 which is about $ 91 supports all wireless standards as provided by Orange though it depends on ones network coverage. It comes with 4.8GB of data for a 4 month period. The Lumia 820 and 920 are the current supported mobile devices amongst others which are yet to be launched by Orange. Also, other 4G LTE enabled devices from abroad can be used to access Orange internet and also make voice calls. The data bundles to access 4G LTE are the same in price and quantity as 2G and 3G, the difference lies in the improved browsing experience.

The launch was filled with rhetoric statements of superiority. It’s only time that will tell how superior this 4G LTE network actually is.

For more information about Orange Uganda visit their website.

 

 

The post Orange Uganda Launches 4G LTE — Boasts of Superiority appeared first on TechPost.

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An instrument for discovering new mobile service opportunities

This study proposes a systematic approach to discovering new mobile service opportunities from related documents to overcome the weaknesses of previous methods based on the judgements of experts. At the heart of the suggested approach is text mining to explicitly specify the meanings of documents and information visualisation to effectively explore critical implications. Specifically, we integrate the strengths of principal component analysis (PCA) for mapping multi-dimensional data on a two-dimensional display and the merits of formal concept analysis (FCA) for grouping objects with shared properties based on the lattice theory. A case study of navigation services is presented to show the feasibility of our approach. We believe that the systematic processes and visualised outcomes offered by the proposed approach can enhance the efficiency of mobile service creation and serve as a starting point for developing more general models.
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Infrastructure Development: Public Private Partnership Path for Developing Rural Telecommunications in Africa

It is the quest of every government to achieve universal Access and service of telecommunication services and ICTs. Unfortunately due to the high cost of deploying infrastructure in rural areas of developing countries due to non-significant or no economic activity, this dream of achieving Universal access and service of telecommunications/ICTs have been stalled.

This paper throws light on a possible Public Private Partnership framework as a development path that will enable affordable network technologies to be deployed in rural areas at a cost that will translate to what the rural dweller in a developing country in Africa can afford. The paper is a conceptual paper
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The digital mobile phone comes of age

In July 2012, the digital mobile phone celebrates its 21st birthday. Of course wireless technology is much older, dating to the turn of the 20th century, and analogue cellular mobile phones — so called first-generation (1G) phones — were already around in July 1991 when the Finnish operator, Radiolinja, opened the world’s first commercial digital mobile service. But there are good reasons to celebrate the coming of age of the mobile phone and, heck, everyone likes a party.

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