MWA stresses need for balanced regional mobile ecosystem
A report presented at the just concluded Mobile West Africa (MWA) conference in Lagos, has raised the need for a balanced mobile ecosystem in the region.
Tagged, ‘The West Africa Early Adopters Report’ and authored by Yannick Lefang, founder of KASI Insight, and Matthew Dawes, founder of MWA, the report surveyed about 10,000 urban dwellers in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana aged between 18 and 55 years old, and early adopters of mobile devices especially smartphones.
Dawes clarified that these early adopter snapshots are intended to add clarity to the big picture research and public relation hype that surrounds the potential of the mobile device in sub-Saharan Africa by putting the consumer at the heart of all future strategy.
The report noted that mobile ecosystem needs to have local mobile consumers at its heart. “Early adopter research illustrates that life on the ground is fundamentally different than all-encompassing statistics. There is a demand for services, products, and content that deliver every day value. Hype is hype, but business is business. Don’t believe the e/mCommerce hype. Not only is the ecosystem required barely in existence to deliver for the consumer. The trail from customer acquisition to delivery to regular return customer is simply too long,” the report noted.
On FinTech, it observed that potential users want greater financial freedom, better transparency, admitting that the mobile device is in prime position to deliver.
It advised that there was need to get the product offering right – secure, smooth, reliable. “Offering customer-centric financial services is a very real opportunity. The technology is not the service, it is just the enabler/the facilitator to delivering the necessary value.”
Specifically, the report said Fintech is not disrupting banking, but creating it, adding that it is a promising market that goes beyond technology.
According to it, 96 per cent of early adopters in Ghana planned to use mobile money for financial transactions this year, compared to 73 per cent and 35 per cent in Nigeria and Cameroon.
The report observed that mobile is starting to show its promise in connecting with consumers, stressing that advertising on mobile is effective and worth the investment compared to traditional mediums like bill boards.
It revealed that 88 per cent of early adopters spend more than three hours per day on their mobiles, while only 24 per cent do in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, discussing the BBM ecosystem, the Chief Executive Officer, BBM PIN, Matthew Talbot, revealed that there are 4.2 million monthly active BBM users in Nigeria, and over 300 million impressions ahead of South Africa’s, which he put at 2.1 million and over 100 million impressions.He said the BBM platform now aids content development, bills payment, advertising and commerce.