Broad Street, Lagos
The recently released Ericsson ConsumerLab survey has identified new ways that could boost mobile commerce (m-commerce) in African countries including Nigeria.
The survey, which predicted strong growth in m-commerce for African countries, recommended appropriate policies, interoperable technology and awareness campaign in the form of education that will further drive mobile money transactions in African countries.
It further recommended that m-Commerce players should take special notice of women in sub-Saharan Africa as they are responsible for household finances.
Ericsson initiated its global stakeholder engagement programme to advance next generation m-Commerce, through a survey it carried out on consumer behaviour in Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana.
The survey result suggested that consumers in Africa were ready for the next generation mobile money transaction, and that opportunities abound for mobile operators and banks, but insisted that uptake largely depends on knowledge and trust in the mobile money service.
The findings of the survey were used as benchmark to discuss mobile money growth and penetration in Nigeria, at a press conference organised by Ericsson in Lagos recently.
The focus of the conference was to explore opportunities across the eco-system for accelerating the adoption of next generation m-Commerce in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the Country Manager, Ericsson Nigeria, Mr. Kamar Abass, “M-commerce represents the leading edge of innovations that are sustaining and boosting momentum in Africa’s telecoms industry. The boost has been described as beneficial in the form of mobile voice and data growth to other industry sectors as well as banking, retail and utilities, in particular. All stand to benefit from the transformational efficiency and productivity gains made accessible by these exciting, new applications.”
Based on in-depth research of the survey carried out on the three African countries, the report has four key findings: that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their personal budgets; the speed and convenience of m-commerce points to great potential in the market; current behaviours and social structures indicate that the use of mobile payment services will expand; and that consumers need more information about the functionality and security of m-commerce transactions.
Ericsson researchers gathered that consumers use mobile payment services for person-to-person transfers and purchasing airtime on their mobile subscriptions, and that they like the convenience of accessing money everywhere and at any time, regardless of service hours.
Benchmarking the result with the Nigerian environment, Head of Compliance and Risk Control for Ericsson, Mr. Tunmbi Idowu, said the result could be comparable with the Nigerian situation, but suggested that more customer-friendly policies from government and good regulatory processes be introduced, to further drive m-Commerce in Nigeria. He commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its initiative in introducing cashless policies, and called for more education and awareness creation that would re-direct the minds of several unbanked Nigerians that do not have mobile phones.
Ericsson is a provider of communications technology services, enabling the networked society with efficient real-time solutions that allow people to study, work and live their lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world.