What are Mobile Payments?
Whether it is for booking travel, buying online, paying back loans, or sending money to friends and family, payments need to be made. Mobile payments make that process efficient and effective. Instead of cash and credit cards, mobile payments allow customers to use a mobile device, which many people carry everywhere, to pay for goods and services.
In the African travel industry, mobile payments simplify the reservation process by enabling users with a mobile money account, in any country, to instantly make a variety of different types of purchases from their home, or even in foreign countries.
Benefits of Mobile Payment Solutions:
Ability to Provide Financial Services
70% of people in Africa have mobile phones, yet banks are inaccessible to many. Mobile payment solutions are therefore an effective way to provide financial services to this unbanked population.
For example, people can now easily book hotel rooms in Kenya or Zanzibar, whether they have a credit card or not.
Mobile Money is Convenient
Mobile payments are made on the go and this convenience has led to many users to abandon their credit cards in favor of mobile money wallets and mobile payment platforms.
For sellers, setup is quick and simple, and the mobility allows sellers to accept mobile payments in any location. Mobile payment conversion rates are five times higher than credit card payments, and sometimes also more affordable.
Both the buyer and the seller benefit from the powerful security of mobile payments. Mobile phones have security functionalities that provide authentication capabilities. Passwords and GPS functionality add enhanced security over other payment options.
The word is experiencing a move away from cash, with many people preferring to make a digital or mobile payments. Payments are also becoming borderless due to the new options that allow for multi-currency and cross-border transactions.
Types of Mobile Payment Solutions
Direct Mobile Billing Options
Direct mobile billing is gaining traction and success in eCommerce, thanks to two-factor authentication security, convenience, speed, and a proven track record..
In this case, mobile billing is presented as a payment option at checkout. Authentication takes place, limiting fraud, and the customer’s mobile account is charged.
Near Field Communication (No-Touch Mobile Payments)
For payments at physical locations, users can wave an NFC-enabled phone in front of an NFC reader. This method requires a significant supporting infrastructure (compatible phones and checkout devices)
SMS Based Mobile Payments
This mobile payment solution is still widely used. In this model, the user sends an SMS text message to a short code. A premium charge is applied to the user’s phone bill. The seller is informed of the successful transaction and later paid for the sale. Mobile payments in Africa are still relying greatly on this technology.
Mobile Payment Apps, Devices, and Technology
Digital Wallets: Apps for Mobile Payments
There are apps competing to be an all-inclusive digital wallet. They aggregate all of the user’s payments accounts and loyalty/points accounts. Google Wallet and Apple Passbook are most popular. However, these apps simply act as a wallet to store all of your cards. They don’t eliminate the need to use cards.
Mobile Payment Apps that Reward Users
Some apps use a gamification approach, in which users get reward points for paying with their app. Other services enhance mobile apps with mobile payment, loyalty, offers, receipts and related commerce services.
Mobile Devices for Mobile Payments
Part of the attraction to direct mobile billing options is that special devices are not required. A phone that accepts and sends SMS text messages can be used to pay for hotel reservations or book an airline ticket.
Mobile Payment Technology
Mobile payment platforms are revolutionizing mobile payment options. Mobile payment systems connect to hundreds of mobile carriers throughout the world and offer users the ability to make purchases using one click that are billed to their mobile accounts.
Mobile Payments for Africa’s Hospitality Businesses
According to Gartner, Africa’s mobile payments transactions will reach $160 billion in 2016. According to the Financial Times, “Africa is the next big thing,” in the hospitality industry. This combination of opportunities, a prosperous travel vertical and an increasing reliance on mobile payment services in Africa, creates a need for an end-to-end payment platform that allows cross border mobile payments for travel purchases.
The DPO Mobile Payments Solution
The African travel industry has come to rely on DPO for its online payment processing needs. Now, with our partnership with Cellulant’s end to end platform, and with mVisa, African tourism and hospitality businesses can easily accept mobile payments and expand their reach to more customers.
Using DPO payments platform anywhere with the mobile payments app DumaPay , as well as on a travel website, will enable all models of payments (credit cards, bank transfer, and direct mobile billing), in all currencies, with all cellular providers, including cross border mobile payments. DPO supports payments with these mobile providers:
Regardless of where a customer is from, which mobile carrier he uses, and where he is booking, when he selects the mobile payment option, he can easily use his mobile money account, enter his approval code, and receive an online confirmation in minutes.