The mobile phone is at the heart of the latest innovations
Africans are increasingly tech savvy with an 80% mobile penetration rate, and the growing ubiquity of cellular connectivity in
Osborne explains that mobile payment includes remote payment, using mobile money solutions to make peer-to-peer payment, international money transfer, mobile cash in and cash out, as well as contactless proximity payment using mobile near field communication (NFC) technology for payment in shops.
"We can definitely say that remote mobile payment is getting mainstream in
According to Osborne, mobile payment programmes are successful due to their simplicity – customers buy credit on their mobile phone accounts and use it to pay bills, buy products or transfer cash to other mobile phone users.
He notes that the technology removes the barriers of time and location, and where once an individual had to walk kilometres to join a queue at a specified time to pay a bill, he or she can now send a text any time, from wherever they are, to make a remote payment.
In emerging markets, he says, mobile money has the power not just to simplify lives, but to transform them, playing a social noble role as it addresses the unbanked or underserved population in
However, Osborne notes that as for mobile NFC payment, it is not yet mainstream in
Nonetheless, as the market grows and matures with the proliferation of NFC compatible smartphones and contactless point of sale terminals, it might not take long before mobile operators and banks start launching NFC mobile wallet solutions, and offer their customers the opportunity to pay in shops in a contactless mode using their phone, he says.
Osborne points out that NFC mobile payment solutions require specific infrastructures to work, such as contactless point of sale payment terminals at merchants.
"For mobile NFC to grow, end-users have to be equipped with smartphones which are NFC compliant.
This means that in the next few years, one out of two people living in SA could potentially own an NFC phone, he explains.
As for point of sale payment terminals, Osborne adds, ABI research predicts that 85% of them will support contactless payments by the end of 2016.
"Mobile operators are already looking closely into NFC solutions and South African banks have announced some trials. As the market grows and matures with the proliferation of NFC compatible smartphones and contactless point of sale terminals, it might not take long before mobile operators and banks start launching NFC mobile wallet solutions and offer their customers the opportunity to pay in shops in a contactless mode using their phone."
He notes that NFC in itself is just a communication channel, and when NFC technology is being used for payment applications, security is of course a central element.
"As a leader in digital security, we, at
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