The competition between telecommunication has, for the most part, been very tight and that has invariably led to some outstanding services rendered to us (customers) by them.
Some services are invaluable to us customers and others are just useless, but it is through this corporate rivalry…this competition that has led to the birthing of the much vaunted MobileMoney.
MobileMoney is a cash management service available on the mobile phone or internet. It is mainly about facilitating money transfer for the Ghanaian market. The service can also be used for;
1. Reloading airtime units,
2. Payment of utility bills,
3. Payment of goods & services.
MobileMoney is provided in partnership with banks.
MobileMoney also operates through authorized Merchants (Agents) who facilitate the service on behalf of the partner banks.
MobileMoney comprises of individual (subscriber) and merchant wallets. Wallets (individual & merchant) are created after the registration process is completed on the phone with the selection of a four digit MobileMoney PIN (password).
The MobileMoney PIN is required to authorize all MobileMoney transactions. No single transaction can be completed without the MobileMoney PIN. Wallet transactions for MobileMoney are for the most part in Ghana Cedi (GH¢).
It is a simple-enough system that works remarkably well for those who need money urgently or just anyone…but with all its merits, MobileMoney is flawed in one major area: AVAILABILITY.
YES, people can sign up for MobileMoney and YES, people can head into Telecom branches to send or receive money, but the designated MobileMoney agents who are actually tasked with accepting and making MobileMoney payments are severely lacking.
Affiliated banks offer services that link an individual’s bank account to his/her MobileMoney account but if an individual does not fancy saving at the bank, he/she only has the agents to rely on: Agents who are few and far between.
The simple activity of putting money into a MobileMoney account, which should take at most 3 minutes, can last up to 15 minutes…especially when crowds are encountered.
That is, if the individual can find a MobileMoney agent in his/her vicinity to start with.
There should be another option and a simpler way of depositing money into an individual’s MobileMoney account.
Across all the major telecos one thing remains constant; recharge vouchers/credit vouchers.
What an individual pays for is exactly the amount reflected on the voucher…the amount the individual gets. Thus, an individual who pays GH¢10 for a credit voucher will receive GH¢10 credit on his/her phone once loaded.
These credit vouchers once used up are good for making calls, sharing to other users, bundling for data and sending text messages. That is about the only thing it can be used for.
Thus, I propose one more function for the credit vouchers:
Topping up an individual’s MobileMoney account.
Explained below are my recommendations:
- Put in place a system that allows individuals the ability to deposit their credit vouchers into their MobileMoney accounts without visiting an agent or the main Telecom office.
- Depositing the money can be done through:
1. Sending the scratch code plus the MobileMoney password to a shortcode via SMS.
2. An option in the SIM CARD menu on the phone that allows the individual to input the scratch code from the voucher and providing the password for depositing into the MobileMoney account.
3. Similar to the more conventional method of loading credit on a scratch voucher, vouchers GHc5 and up will have a special shortcode printed to them. Individuals can then deposit money into their MobileMoney accounts by adding the shortcode to the scratch code in the dialpad and hitting the call button (e.g: *500*xxxxxxxxxxxxxx#).
Following that, the individual would be asked to provide his/her password to authenticate the MobileMoney account being credited.
NB: The third option will in fact, act similarly to the data bundling feature present on Airtel credit vouchers.
- A subscription-based service will be put up, giving subscribers the ability to send actual credit (not bonus credit) into their MobileMoney account and the accounts of others.
For this to work effectively, any and all transactions with this service will incur a higher charge compared to the user employing a MobileMoney agent for the transaction.
This in effect will ensure that the MobileMoney agents are not cut out of the equation.
NB: A mandatory minimum transfer cap must be put in place. Thus, users must have the minimum required amount in their credit account before they can make transactions.
E.g: The minimum transfer cap is GHc10 (transfer charge not inclusive)
The telecom battlefield in Ghana is fierce and each one strives hard to bring to market true innovation; something incredibly nouveau and state-of-the-art.
With a constant need to always outdo the competition, I believe this idea will set the Telecom game on fire.
When implemented, it will prove indispensable to the entire MobileMoney population.
The end goal is to make MobileMoney easy-to-use, less hectic, efficient and especially convenient to every customer. No one should walk long distances or keep asking for directions to find the nearest MobileMoney agent.
PS: After spending months developing this very nice and alluring idea, I was informed it wouldn’t work…because, well, Telecommunications Companies lie about the actual value of credit vouchers.
OOPS!!…I’ve said too much and i hear them coming for me.
Tell my fiancée I Love her. #Smub #Wink