My Issues with Mobile Money

It has been a while since I just chucked a rant, so here goes.

Over this holiday season, I find myself in the bundus working towards some other important goals. Now, as you would expect, ensuring thins go as planned in the village normally requires one to have your miscellaneous monies in an easily accessible place – mainly because things have a tendency of going outside the budgets at times and places like these.

Due to lack of banking services in down here, it is only obvious that the best mode of carrying around cash you may or may not use would be on one’s mobile phone. And even with that solutions, I was spoilt for choice between M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Orange Money, Yu Cash, et cetera.

Now, as we head towards the end of the holidays, I have just been doing a re-cap of miscellaneous expenditure via money solutions and I got an epiphany.

Now, we all know that M-Pesa is like the grandfather of all mobile money payment systems, and many of ther others have taken after it in some way when it comes to functionality. Now here’s the epiphany.

Mobile money is mainly a money transfer service. Now, comparing the various mobile money options available to other modes of transferring money and you will notice a trend. All major mobile money options charge for both sides of the transaction. Other ways of sending money like Western Union, Money Gram, or even a good ol’ cheque only charge for one side of the transaction. Hec, even VISA only charge one side where it is free to make a visa payment, but they will charge the recipient some amount – a small percentage I think. So does PayPal and a host of many other methods of transferring money.

In light of this, why are we letting mobile money options get away with charging for sending and withdrawing? Is there any reasonable justification for that (apart from greed in the name or raising their bottom line)?

If you ask me, in a perfect world, I should think that mobile money options should scrap the sending charge. I mean, all it is to them is a double entry in their books from one account to another and two measly SMSs. They can then keep the withdrawing charge, when the electronic money needs to become cash.

I know mobile money is a revolution that has and is helping lives and businesses day in, day out, but does it have to be expensive as well? Just a thought…would like to read your comments on this.Smile

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