A key reason why a mobile money operation has failed comes back to how it has been operationalized

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Author: Barney de Jongh

Today there are only a handful of successful mobile money deployments around the globe. Most of us only see the tip of the iceberg. Mobile Money, how difficult can it really be to implement? Surely, it’s just about opening a bank account, appointing a few agents, implementing a platform and getting a license, right?

Maybe not quite so easy. Let’s look underneath that iceberg for a few moments. We often hear that an active customer rate of 30% and above is a good benchmark for success in mobile money deployments, but why is that? Active customers drive transactions and without transactions we don’t have much of a mobile money business. Yep, mobile money is all about transaction volume and lots of it.

So, what measures have we put in place to drive quality customer acquisition? Or, is our cost of customer acquisition sky high? How do we get our agents to encourage customers to use their mobile money wallets on a frequent basis? Or, do we have agents who are demotivated and couldn’t care less about our mobile money service?

Do we understand what our customers really want from a mobile money service? How does our mobile money organization support customers throughout the customer lifecycle? Do we have solid business processes in place where every stakeholder knows exactly what is expected from him or her to deliver an optimal mobile money business?

Not so easy to answer all these questions right? That’s because most of these questions relates to how mobile money was operationalized in the first place. This is the bottom of the iceberg stuff. The rails that are put down in the first place is what can make or break a mobile money operation. One of my colleagues, in a previous mobile money operation, described a mobile money project as a dragon with many heads which he was very glad not to have managed. After having seen a few of these first hand, I tend to agree wholeheartedly!

The good news is that there are some key levers, not just one or two, but a combination of them, at the right time and the right place, that can help build a solid track or steer a mobile money business in the right direction. We have taken years of experience throughout a number of deployments in very different and diverse markets across the globe and have jam-packed the same into a course that will hopefully give you some great insights into getting closer to answer the bottom of the ice-berg type questions.

To learn more about how to effectively operationalize a mobile money business enrol for DFI’s new course by clicking on this link: DFI Operationalizing Mobile Money

By Barney De Jongh

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