LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MENA, DUBAI: Mobile money can be a massive and sustainable revenue stream for operators, Hassan Mahbub, head of mobile wallets for Pakistan operator Jazz, said.

“In voice and core mobile business there’s only so much you can do,” Mahbub (pictured, right) stated: “Data is getting a lot of growth but after some time that will become stagnant or have its own problems. Ultimately, mobile money will become a massive revenue stream for operators.”

The executive pointed to the success of m-Pesa in Kenya, noting cash is still king in the country even after ten years of growth for the mobile money service. This, he explained, means there is still room to expand customer numbers and the scope of services.

Jazz, which is the largest mobile operator in Pakistan with a market share of around 38 per cent, offers a range of financial services under the JazzCash moniker; including person-to-person payments, retail NFC and QR-code payments. JazzCash is largely aimed at the unbanked.

Discussing attempts to lessen the use of cash in Pakistan, Mahbub said: “Cash is something we’re trying to eliminate within mobile money, but the biggest use case we have is money transfers. Customers deposit in the urban areas and send it home, and they then do the cash withdrawal. They still take cash out despite using mobile money.”

“So what we are trying to do is make acceptability of digital payments in the cheapest manner through our QR codes and till-based payments at micro-merchants,” he added.