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Hard facts on software – Mobile Wallets

Typing the title made me smirk! With mobile wallet I don’t mean a traditional wallet that is getting mobile and disappearing into the pocket of some ill-meaning individual! Rather I mean a mobile means of electronic payment, that can be made from a cellphone.
Arguabley this is the year that mobile payment systems become mainstream in the first world. Boring – you might think! Well, many Africans have enjoyed mobile payment systems for many many years. Yes, Africa is leading the game with regards to mobile wallets.
There are quite a few of those services around, but let me just hightlight a few to illustrate the concepts. There are many different concepts and technologies out there today, all with the aim of allowing you to make a payment with your cellphone, rather than with a credit card, cheque or cash. The main reason behind this development? Well, you might forget your wallet, but highly unlikely that you forget your cellphone when you go shopping right? Your credit card might get cloned, so you are careful. Cheques? What are cheques – the younger generation will ask. No-one except some old farmers uses them any more. And Cash? Well, who’s got cash in the first place? Anyway – that’s a topic for another day. Let’s look at some mobile payment systems, one of these is mimoney. Here is how mimoney describe their service on their website:
“mimoney is electronic cash which can be used as a payment method on any electronic environment such as an internet website, a mobi website (a website viewed on your mobile phone) or at a telephone booking centre (call centre) where mimoney is advertised as an acceptable payment mechanism. mimoney can even be redeemed at retailers that are mimoney acceptors.
The most basic form of mimoney is the mimoney voucher! A mimoney electronic voucher is simply a micode (18 digit voucher number) equivalent to the amount the voucher is purchased for. This number is sent to your mobile phone as an SMS once a mimoney voucher has been purchased, and is ready to use at once! The voucher number PLUS your mobile phone number are the two numbers you require to carry out your transactions.
mimoney vouchers are available in any denominations – from a R3.97 to R1000,00 per voucher (with a monthly limit of R25 000) You can purchase as many vouchers as you like to make transactions – and payments can be made with a multitude of vouchers – so you won’t lose the last few Rands on your mimoney voucher.
The mimoney mobile application is the next step to mimoney. This modern function needs to be downloaded to your mobile phone (at no extra cost). The mobile application is simply a virtual wallet. It accumulates all existing mimoney vouchers and calculates your total balance. The mimoney mobile application allows you to create a list of your favourite merchants so that transactions can easily be made. The application also allows you to create a folder of your favourite mimoney friends and family, called MiMates. With this application you will be able to send mimoney to your MiMates and even request mimoney whenever you need extra cash. The mobile application has many enjoyable features that will make the mimoney user-experience an awesome one!
mimoney is the virtual payment mechanism for modern society! Safe, secure and completely cashless; mimoney is the way forward!”
As you can see – quite revolutionary. Others like Fundamo and M-pesa have led the way. Look out for more mobile wallets being available soon.
Remember last week I mentioned the long tail.
Until next time then – Keep it (A)fresh.

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