The current mobile money climate is not a customer friendly experience, according to Ruan Swanepoel, commercial manager of Tigo Pesa Tanzania.
Swanepoel was involved in a panel discussion on the second day of the 2014 Mobile Money and Digital Payments conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He said operators are currently forcing customers to cash out and put money into other ecosystems, speaking of the lack of mobile money interoperability.
“When customers are allowed to transact across networks, it creates the opportunity for the industry to move forward,” he said.
Swanepoel said interoperability would provide a bigger ecosystem for mobile operators to function within, however the panel decided it is easier to talk about than to implement.
Sadiq Malik, principal consultant at the Broadband Gurus Network and moderator of the panel, agreed with Swanepoel’s point.
“The pie will become bigger,” he said.
Yesterday the lack of interoperability is hurting the mobile money market, with only 10 out of 150 mobile money operators seeing success.
Sadiq said the GSM Association (GSMA) is imploring banks and mobile operators to allow for interoperability so that over-the-top (OTT) providers do not monopolise the market.
The GSMA and nine mobile operators in African and the Middle East announced plans to accelerate interoperable mobile money platforms.
Bharti Airtel, Etisalat Group, Millicom, MTN Group, Ooredoo Group, Orange, STC Group, Vodafone Group and Zain Group – which jointly account for 582 million mobile connections across 48 countries in Africa and the Middle East – signed up for the initiative.