Service providers in Africa have stated that the future of mobile money in Africa lies in the continent?s ability innovate and move beyond current service offerings. There is growing interest in solutions and services that are designed to facilitate financial management that bypasses traditional channels and makes use of the Internet.
This activity and surge in market interest has attracted the attention of technology experts who believe they have what it takes to meet the demand for reliable service and support within digital and mobile finance space.
Whilst competition for a secure foothold within the market is fierce, there are operators that stand out because of their knowledge of the technology required to ensure the convenience that these channels promise consumers. ZunguZ is a strong example.
The offering is a global multi-tier mobile payment platform integrated into Facebook, and one of the first apps available within the Facebook app store. The company has not only slotted in with consumer demand for access to financial portfolios via mobile technology, but added the integration with social networks as a largely untapped resource.
Whilst mobile web sites and mobile apps are increasingly being used by financial institutions to engage customers, there is a growing awareness of the opportunity that lies in using the institution?s web presence and social strategy to extend services.
This is the view of Robert Sussman, joint CEO of ZunguZ, who says that Facebook?s growing prominence within social networking and social media means it is a force to be reckoned with.
This clout - and that of ZunguZ as an established offering with several partnerships in place with international financial institutions, means an industry-leading partnership that can take mobile money to another level.
"An article posted on Forbes.com specified that fifteen percent of Facebook?s revenue last year - or almost $600 million - was generated from payments.
That is a very interesting statistic because it confirms that more consumers connected to social networks are taking mobile payments seriously and more are looking to leverage off the services of credible service providers,' Sussman explains.
Added to this is the social networking giant?s international following of over 1 billion users, which, as Sussman suggests, represents a huge pool of potential customers for any institution eager to expand the portfolio of services and embrace the social network model.
"This space is all about the convergence of mobile infrastructure, devices and applications.
It is about taking the mobile resource and integrating with web presence to serve as a conduit for personal financial administration and management.
Mobile money, and the rise of social networking, is most definitely a game changer,' Sussman adds.