Posted on November 10, 2015
The attached article gives an interesting perspective on how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be leveraged for mobile money. The article, however, fails to point out the significant challenges with this scenario.
Firstly, the vast majority of mobile money users do not have access to bank accounts and are not able to afford smart phones or devices. Such devices would also incur data and power costs, making them even more unaffordable.
Secondly, emerging markets lack the infrastructure required for the IoT to function effectively. Emerging markets do not have the required network coverage, nor do they have a low cost of data. The cost and supply of electricity is also a factor that needs to be considered.
Mobile money has taken off in emerging markets due to it’s ability to utilize Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). USSD was deemed to be the lowest common denominator that would allow all users, even those with low-end feature phones, to be able to access mobile money. This is the technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.
The IoT on the other hand relates to smart phones and devices that are able to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. IoT is associated with developed, technologically advanced markets that already have the infrastructure required.
Read the full story here
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