Understanding mobile money in South Africa

Digital technology is changing the way that people use and interact with money.

Our client, a diversified financial services provider, needed to understand how digital technologies would impact the way that consumers use money. In particular, the use of mobile wallets (e-wallets) has not seen the same level of penetration in South Africa as elsewhere in Africa.

Our work focused on understanding consumer behaviour within changing technology, through a combination of rapid desktop research and expert interviews.

SA remains largely a cash society due to the exclusion of low-income earners. Financial institutions are surprisingly not adapting their product offerings to meet the needs of the low-end markets.

The infrastructure and technology to support alternative payments mechanisms are not available or utilised efficiently. Combined with regulatory constraints, alternatives such as mobile financial services cannot provide a viable business model with substantial product offerings in a highly competitive domestic remittance market.

The information gathered by RIIS was used to understand the landscape of financial institutions and services in South Africa. Together with our findings, we recommended to our client possible human centred innovations that would position them to take advantage of the emerging disruption of Industry 4.0.


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