Mobipay still buoyant
American Physicist, Richard Phillips Feynman, once said for a technology to be successful, reality must take precedence over public relations for nature cannot be fooled.
One technology which has seemingly managed to strike the right balance between reality and public relations is MobiPay, a local mobile money brand, which has successfully carved a niche for itself as Namibia’s premier mobile payment solution and service provider in Namibia.
MobiCash Payment Solutions (Pty) Ltd, trading as MobiPay, is a wholly owned Namibian Company. The company is the first mobile payment solution and service provider licensed and regulated by the Bank of Namibia.
Mobile Money is a new and fast growing alternative payment method that is expanding and catching on globally and can be used by everyone who owns a mobile phone.
“If I can put it in simple terms – it is cash on your mobile phones, which allows you to do shopping, pay, or purchase goods and services and send money to anyone at anytime of the day – all from your mobile phone.
“Although it is a new service on the Namibian market, it is easy to understand especially if the customers are shown most of the features and capabilities at once on their mobile phone device,” Amos Shiyuka who is the Executive Director of MobiPay says.
Through the MobiPay brand, the company offers money transfers, purchase of prepaid airtime and electricity, point of sale payments at supermarkets or retailers, bill payments, as well as deposits and withdrawals from MobiPay accounts.
Besides valid identification needed to open an account with MobiPay, one needs a cell phone whose cell number will become the MobiPay account number.
Account holders do cash deposits at any of the MobiPay branches and agents. Alternatively, they can do an Electronic Fund Transfer from their bank accounts into their MobiPay account using their mobile phone numbers as reference.
With the introduction of MobiPay, Namibians have seemingly overcome their technophobia and the product is said to have received an overwhelming support from Namibians, young and old.
Also, the fact that the technology is affordable and accessible to people from all walks of life has been a plus, point says Shiyuka.
“The potential market is so huge, segmenting markets and MobiPay services and features would seem a very feasible combination of telecommunications and the finance Industry, and be the foundation for a viable business model. This market has a critical need for in depth marketing and education so that the services and benefits can be understood by each and every citizen of Namibia.”
The company’s business model, Shiyuka further said, is driven by huge volumes of subscribers and low cost.
The MobiPay team has been busy putting a few strategies in place, motivated by aggressive advertising and marketing tools to increase the brand’s customers’ base and transactions.
MobiPay has presented a competitive model of distribution strategy driven by choice of services and products, including diverse consumers from the unbanked, under-banked and banked market segments that allow a rich variety of customer preference and technology cost parameters.
The company further invested a substantial amount into educating the market and making sure that its existing and potential consumers understand the concept and its benefits.
“With our targeted market segments, we have been doing a lot of one on one and group promotions and advertising to make sure they carry the message further,” Shiyuka says.
But what have been the challenges MobiPay had to overcome being a relatively new concept in Namibia?
“I think the rolling-out of the agents and representatives and educating the market about these new and exciting services has been a challenge so far.
“However, with the new strategy to have an agent in each and every city, town and village in Namibia will surely address these challenges as we strive to bring affordable financial services closer to the people,” Shiyuka adds.
In today’s rapidly changing and competitive microfinance industry, most institutions are looking hard at the potential benefits to be derived from Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
This focus has taken on even greater urgency as institutions seek to meet the needs of the underserved poor, and struggle with the issues of sustainable rural finance and the challenges of outreach. Being a monopoly in the mobile money sector, MobiPay is no exception. To this end, the company has put strategic plans in place to offer its services and products to all Namibians at an affordable rate as the company endeavors to grow steadily in the first five years.
The company is the pioneer in its sector and there is no other from which they can benchmark their services.
“There is no one to compare with MobiPay as we are the only licensed Mobile Payment Service Provider and the first to operate within this market,” Shiyuka says. PF