The Importance of Network Quality in Mobile Money

Earlier in the year, the GSMA and our friends at CGAP conducted a consumer survey in the Philippines, one of the most advanced markets for mobile money. To understand some of the factors that contribute to mobile money adoption, we spoke to over 1,000 unbanked Filipinos, including current mobile money users and those who do not use the service. One theme that emerged from the analysis is the importance of network reliability and signal strength.

How reliable is your network?
When asked how they’d rate the reliability of their mobile network, 75% of mobile money users indicated that they felt their network is ‘definitely reliable’, compared to 61% of non-mobile money users. It doesn’t require a leap of faith to believe that users need to be confident in a network before they entrust their money to a service that relies on it. Nonetheless, the difference in attitudes between the two groups is significant.

Do you feel your money is safe?
As reported in the 2009 MMU Annual Report, mobile money users in the Philippines and Kenya strongly believe that their money is safe with mobile money. Of those who do have concerns, the second most common one (beyond the fear of sending money to the wrong number) is that ‘a transaction may not push through if the signal is lost’.

In practice, a very small portion of current mobile money users report that they’ve experienced signal problems. This is largely due to the discipline that deployments in the Philippines have exercised by way of ensuring strong coverage in targeted areas. The findings do, however, underscore the importance of:

– ensuring good network coverage in targeted areas
– creating processes to handle scenarios where transactions do fail
– proactively positioning mobile money as a safe and secure service

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