LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – AFRICA: Ensuring the next-generation of mobile money products target specific needs will be central to driving take-up of services among women, executives said in a panel discussion.
Liz Kellison, deputy director of financial services for the poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (pictured, left), noted the need for a greater understanding of the sector.
“We are still lacking a lot of data in a lot of places. We need to know better who’s accessing what kind of products, what behaviour are we seeing with various products, what kinds of channels are people using, are women using, and what type of financial service providers are reaching whom in the market,” she advised.
“We know a little bit about womens’ customer journey, and in various different countries we are seeing gaps between awareness of mobile money, and registration, and deeper usage. What we’re not sure is why women are falling off that customer journey. Over the next couple of years we’re going to figure out if we can learn more about that, so we figure out how to get over that,” Kellison added.
Faith Chisulo (pictured, right), head of mobile financial services for Tigo Rwanda, cautioned that “as operators, we have kind of launched a product without getting a full understanding, and that has come back to affect adoption of the product. It’s a learning phase for use, and we look forward to using data more accurately.”
Chisulo noted that understanding the specific behavioural traits of female users can help drive adoption. “We have to be mindful of how we deliver these products. Women tend to warm-up more if a service is referred to them, if someone takes time to explain it to them,” she said.
Kristen Waeber, customer experience manager for mobile money platform company Zoona, said that the answer may come in looking at how to replicate existing use cases that are not currently served by mobile money services.
“What are the ways that women are using money today, interacting with cash, which we can replicate in a digital way? If we can do that, maybe it’s even a shortcut, taking a behaviour that is there today and putting it into a form that is digitised,” she suggested.