Collaborating with domestic players to expand services and launching innovative solutions such as offline mobile payment to offer ease and convenience to users are prime strategies adopted by market players active in the industry.
Mobile payments have become widespread across the world with millions taking advantage of ease and convenience provided. With market players opting new strategies to make their mark and gain international presence, the mobile payment market is undergoing a transformation. Collaborating with domestic players to expand services is one of the prime strategies adopted by them.
This strategy helps market players in venturing into different markets and gain more market share. In addition, market players are keeping the local merchants and consumers on the mind and developing innovative solutions for them. Offline payment solution is one of those solutions brought forward to offer ease. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global mobile payment market is expected to reach $4.57 billion by 2023. Following are some of the activities taking place in the industry that would shape the future:
Collaboration with domestic players:
Collaboration with local players is one of the best strategies adopted by market players active in the mobile payment industry. Singtel, the largest telecommunication carrier from Singapore, expanded its alliance with Japan. Its cross-border payment alliance, Via, will collaborate with Netstars, a Tokyo-based mobile payment technology firm. It has been already partnered with Thai digital bank Kasikornbank, AIS, and Boost Malaysia.
This collaboration would enable customers opted for these services to pay in the local currency rapidly, transact securely, and avail competitive foreign exchange rates in Japan along with across the networks in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Arthur Lang, the CEO of Singtel International Group, said, Via would continue to expand beyond the associated markets. It would expand beyond telco e-wallets and Southeast Asia. Tsuyoshi Ri, the CEO of Netstars outlined that the partnership with Via would help in achieving their mission of moving toward the cashless society in Japan. Singtel would expand Via to non-telco partners including China’s Ping An eWallet, a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance Group. Mr. Lang added that the company aims to unify the fragmented payment system of Asia by connecting various mobile wallets in the region.
Amazon has been endeavoring to enter the Mexican market through the launch of a new mobile payment application called “CoDi” with a collaboration with the central bank of Mexico, also known as Banco de Mexico. CoDi would help the e-commerce giant in gaining the nationwide presence with backing from the government of Mexico. Moreover, the mobile payment app aims to provide online and in-person payments using smartphones without incurring additional fees. Amazon has already launched “Amazon Pay” and it is not yet clear how the new service would differ from it.
Novel solutions to ease up payments:
Market players have been bringing innovative solutions to ease up payments for local consumers and merchants. Various players have focused on capturing the major share through the local markets. Nala has developed an offline mobile money payment platform to facilitate the process of mobile payments in African countries. Though millions of Africans have mobile money accounts, there was no interface that would act as an interface on the supplementary service data layer for carrying out transfers and payments. Nala has built that interface to pave the way for ease in payments.
According to the McKinsey report, nearly half of the 282 mobile money payment providers across the world have been active in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017. Moreover, according to the founder of Nala, there are nearly 420 million Africans have mobile money accounts. Considering Tanzania, a user needs to enter nearly 39–45 digits to make a single money transfer. If there is some new user adopting the service, it would be a difficult task. On the other hand, users can make payment to any device through a one-time download of Nala.
The app has availed short codes from all transaction providers and developed a router system through which a user can operate without the need to utilize different coding. Nala is active in Tanzania and has nearly 100,000 users. The company has plans to expand into two more African countries by the end of 2019.
Cashfree, a mobile payment app has provided a simple QR code payment solution to ease up the lives of local communities. It eliminates the need to carry cash, deal with third party service providers, and hazards related to slow payments. Moreover, there is a reduction in risks for consumers and merchants along with the elimination of middleman for carrying out a transaction. As merchants can receive the payment from consumers directly, there will be less cost per transaction. This is helpful for local stores that have very small bargaining power with international players such as MasterCard and Visa.
Similarly, Google Pay has been planning to help offline and local customers by partnering with point-of-sales providers. It would carry out offline transactions with the help of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). This will offer convenience to consumers as they need to share mobile numbers instead of card swipe at the billing counter. Consumers will receive a “collect” request on the Google Pay app and UPI PIN needs to be entered to make a transaction. This offline strategy is intended to develop payment solution ecosystem for Indian consumers