The Rise of Mobile Financial Services

The world is still suffering from the coronavirus. Every day, we check the news as much as we could, counting the numbers of infected people and, hopefully, treated ones. We all have a common question in our minds: When is the closest day to reach a vaccine? 

All we can do is stay at home and keep social distancing. Each of us washes hands many times in a day and keep good faith in our heart to turn back good old days. Humankind is only able to make predictions about when we again live a normal life. But, besides the negative perspective, let us think about what is a normal life, what norms make the normal? This will help us to rebuild the future.

Corona, Money, Technology and the New Normal

 

As we, technology and user experience experts, this is an opportunity for us to reconsider the norms. Because norms help us to understand human and excel the products we develop for them. Let’s make the angle little bit narrower and criticise money in the context of the pandemic environment. We are afraid to touch money now. If you are interested in how coronavirus affects the physical existence of money, please sit back and read the article ‘’Cash is unclean.’’ How does Coronavirus affect payment methods? on our blog. Then please join us at this article and let us watch the rise of mobile financial services during the pandemic days.

Since technology is able to replace the physical existence of money, we’ve stored it in bytes. We needed to send money to our beloved ones, make payment for monthly subscriptions, pay the bills and more. We made it digital at some level. Again, something in common, we don’t want to spend too much time on bank branches and lines. On the other hand, a very big number of people in the world can’t access banks, too. But they have a mobile phone whether its a smartphone or not. Necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks to Mobile Financial Services. The simplest, the fastest and most secure form of money. Fortunately, this form of money has no virus. Let us challenge the status quo again: Do we really need the physical money, if we can transform heritage finance systems to pure digital and make it accessible for each of us? Let’s think of mobility again!

In this article, we summarized the current best practices, new approaches and some numbers to provide you with a context where we can address the future and new normal needs together. 

First, let’s take a look at how mobile financial services save a country’s economy and the lives of its lovely citizens.

Time for MFS providers to shine: Case Bangladesh

 

“Banks hardly run their financial activities in rural backwaters, but the MFS providers have brought the underprivileged people of these territories to the formal financial sector.” These are the words of Mustafa Jabbar who is the telecommunication minister of Bangladesh. Like all governments, Bangladesh brought many economic aid programs to citizens. However, they did something different from others. Since the country’s economy based on SMBs, farmers and small entrepreneurs, they needed to have a solution send money directly to people, not the bank branches. And they did it well. MFS helped them to make economy wheels rolling, moreover, reduce the spread power of coronavirus. You may familiar with some videos on the internet people were standing endless lines in with no respect for social distance in some countries. So, we should congratulate Bangladesh to being a case to study as implementing MFS in a very short time. To read more about the recent developments in the country in terms of MFS, take a look at the article Time for MFS providers to shine at The Daily Star magazine.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

 

Gartner predicts that by 2030, 80% of heritage financial services firms will either go out of business, become commoditized or exist only formally, not competing effectively as fintech companies and other non-traditional players gain greater market share. Financial services firms face dramatic disruption from upstart competitors and their ability to survive and thrive will require them to dramatically change their approach.

Collaborating vs. Competing

 

As we analyse through market trends, user questionnaires and predictions from big consultancy companies, today is the era of collaboration, not the competition. We should keep that the mantra in the minds again: “being customer-centric is essential for the new world” and being customer-centric is only measurable with customer experience. Customer needs vary or customer may not aware what she needs or capable to achieve to satisfy needs. Therefore, collaborative services and companies are great examples. Let’s think that a mobile operator wants to sell an iPhone’s newest and most shinny model for its subscribers, however, frankly, these are goods not everyone is able to buy without instalments. So, in that moment of need in the customers perspective, a partner bank can offer micro-loan through the mobile financial services developed by the mobile operator company.

More specifically, banks should observe the massive marketplace for unbanked and underbanked persons through a distinct lens. They should be inclined to collaborate and compromise a good way to take gain of cellular carriers’ scale at the same time as bringing their own specific strengths (regulatory acumen and operations) to the equation. Partnering with non-conventional gamers in this way will help banks solidify and build their worldwide presence at a time whilst their long-established enterprise version is being challenged from all sides.