Mobile money payments are one of the most inovative technologies in Africa . They stand a great chance to take the online shopping experience to another level.

Since the introduction of E-commerce, payment has been a challenging aspect in the online shopping circle. Since you won't be meeting with the merchant one-on-one to do the payment, there's, therefore, the need for a virtual means of payment to ease the process.

VISA and MASTERCARD have been the main means of online payment before the coming of PayPal, American Express, Cryptocurrency, and other alternative means of payment. But as days go by, the number of internet users increases and e-commerce too is on the rise, with an estimated $7.8 trillion by 2025.

But the e-commerce market is still under-exploited, especially in third world countries like in Africa, Asia, and Latin America where it is difficult to own a bank account, talkless of a Master or a Visa card to use for online shopping. Even PayPal is also not available in these areas, making it underexploited for e-commerce.

It was so until the creation of the mobile money system in which you can store your money in an electronic wallet, and use it to buy or transfer to another user with less stress.

So what is Mobile Money?

Mobile money is a technology that allows people to receive, store and spend money using a mobile phone. It’s sometimes referred to as a 'mobile wallet' or by the name of a specific service such as mPesa, EcoCash, GCash, Tigo Pesa, Momo, Orange Money, and many more. There are more than 270 different mobile money services around the world, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

Mobile money is a popular alternative to both cash and banks because it’s easy to use, secure, and can be used anywhere there is a mobile phone signal.

How Mobile Money Works

Mobile money is a service that stores funds in a secure electronic account, linked to a mobile phone number. In most cases, the mobile money number is the same as the phone number, but not always. Mobile money is often provided by the same companies that run the country's mobile phone services and is available to both pre-pay and contract customers.

The service allows users to store, send, and receive money using their mobile phones. They can buy items in shops or online, pay bills, school fees, and top up mobile airtime from their phone. They can also withdraw cash from authorized agents.

If the user wants to pay a bill or send money to another user, they simply select the relevant service from their phone’s mobile money menu, enter the recipient’s mobile money number, the amount to be sent, the security pin, and then validate. It’s really as simple as sending a text message.

The benefits of mobile money to e-commerce is that almost anyone with a mobile phone and a valid sim card can have a mobile money account(which is not the case with other payment methods). It’s so accessible, which makes it extremely useful in more remote parts of the world, where there aren’t any banks or the process of having a bank account is back-breaking. 

There's much users can do with a mobile money account, like receive, store, spend and send money all from the account on their mobile phone with little or no charges, and it can be sent to any part of the world. With this, it is easier for users to shop online and pay with their phones, rather than going through all the various processes to acquire a bank card.

If this method of payment is adopted by the E-commerce sector and other major economic powers like the USA, Canada, and greater Europe, it has the potential to triple the Global spendings on E-commerce in the next 10 years. 

With Africa having the largest youthful population and internet users which is relatively under-exploited by the E-commerce market, and with a greater majority of its population using Mobile Money, it will be a boom in the e-commerce sector if they accept mobile money payments.

It is eminent that with the trend of things, in the nearest future people will be looking at the best way not to have human contact. So the Global adoption of Mobile Money will be the ultimate. And in the next 10 years, almost everyone is expected to be using mobile money for shopping, payment of bills, receiving payments, etc. This trend will also boost the e-commerce sector as more people who are willing to buy online will now have an easy way to pay with. E-commerce platforms just need to get an API from these mobile money operators and incorporate it into their platforms to start receiving mobile money payments.

It will also help to reduce online fraud, as every mobile money number will be registered with the users’ credentials. 

So in terms of payment, Mobile Money will be the main source of payment in e-commerce in 10 years' time when the service most have been fully accepted by everyone. And it is going to influence more people to shop online since it will be easier for them to pay for the goods and services they are buying.

  The impact of Mobile Money Payment on the online shopping experience: 

Mobile Money payments will have a positive impact on the online shopping experience. Generally, the human is always seeking for ways to make life easier, with less stressful solutions to every complex problem they face. And Mobile Money happens to be one of such solutions to solve the complex problem of cashless payment. It doesn’t only solve the problem of cashless payment but also eases peer-to-peer money transfer between two users irrespective of their location.

Since its invention, Mobile Money payments has been a big booster to the E-commerce sector as it facilitates payment for goods and services. The system is more secured, fast, and reliable, thereby making it gain more ground amongst mobile users.

Its numerous advantages like coupons, Mobile money transfers, utility bill payment, electronic ticketing, and boarding passes, digital content purchase and delivery, contactless payments, in-app payments, mobile banking, location-based services, and loyalty cards, etc will motivate many people to adopt the system as others have been doing over the years since its existence.

In the years to come like in 10 years from now, Mobile money will be the major payment method of payment on all E-commerce platforms, as even major banks are now adopting the service. It will increase E-commerce revenue, as almost everyone with a mobile phone will be connected to the service, which is going to ease payment of goods and services.

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