Viewpoint: Why M-Pesa ‘will never work in South Africa’
In the wake of Vodacom’s decision to close down its M-Pesa mobile money service in South Africa at the end of this month, a pioneer of mobile financial services for the mass market has said mobile operators will never be successful in the financial services industry.
Describing the success of M-Pesa in East Africa – led by Kenya – as the exception rather than the rule, Brian Richardson, CEO of Wizzit International, said this week that mobile operators should rather stick to what they know: providing communication services to millions of people.
Wizzit, which launched a mobile banking service in South Africa 12 years ago aimed at the mass market (it’s still operational), now provides m-banking solutions to banks in 13 countries.
The mobile operators’ biggest problem, Richardson said, was trust.