Problems with Mobile Payments Adoption in Pakistan

At ework.pk, we are trying to solve un-employments issues is less skilled population by providing them access to paid digital work. Till date, we have disbursed more than $30,000 to our workers.
We tried to adopt mobile payments for making payments for users of ework.pk – but faced following issues.

Last Mile Issue

One of the biggest challenge faced by the big problem solvers is to solve the issue of last mile – means connecting to end users. This is the challenge we face, when we try to solve big issues. e.g we try to provide polio vaccination and the final contact with the parents is made by the vaccine workers, providing basic health to poors in remote areas through lady health visitors, Internet access where last mile is the phone line connecting to the user’s phone, and mobile payments that reply on the shop owner as the primary form of contacts.
Mobile companies were at their best by making you get your mobile charged any corner of the country, but unfortunately their relationships with the shop owners is at worst. We have seen in the past that shop keepers in Super Market Islamabad boycotted the easy paisa service.
When we at ework.pk tried to open the users accounts for UBL omni then most of the shops in Islamabad, blue area,  ( that display UBL Omni board ) refused to open account, saying that we don’t open accounts now. The same situation is faced by us many times that shop owners don’t want to make UBL omni payments.
Another reason, is that for opening the account the shop owner needs a computer and Internet connection. This requires huge effort on the part of the shop owner to keep the computer connected with Internet all the times. In the absence of a proper computer connected with Internet the concept of providing services through shop owners.
The result is that despite huge funding for mobile payments in Pakistan – by Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and many others – the last mile issue is complex and isn’t up-to the standards that

Regulatory Policies

Mobile accounts and payments are by design for the un-banked users and that make payments irregularly. jowever- the state bank of Pakistan and banks are so poor in their thinking and actions that they have applied all the policies of the regular bank accounts on the mobile payment accounts.

e.g if I don;t make a transaction in my account in 180 days, my bank account becomes inactive and I have to re-activate the account. We have witnessed that the same is applied to mobile accounts.  In the case of un-banked, poor people it is even hard for them to get account re-activated and there are huge hassle for poor to get the money once the accounts go dormant.

Lack of Support

Once, I was at Open Up? conference and the conference organizers run a small test to check the poll taking devices. One of the question was “how many of you like London Hotels” and it got zero votes. Even though every one who visit london stays in London hotels.

We do bank transactions- every day, but the banks staff is more concerned about bank regulations that are created to protect the monetory system of the country than the people of the country – and most of us complaint about banks regulary and evry day.

The same is with mobile payments – there is minimal support available to end users.

Merchants First

The mobile payments have a successful brand in Kenya called m-Pesa.  Every one thinks that m-Pesa can be replicated every where. Once you visit Kenya you see m-Pesa on the wall of every single shop, outlet, merchant in  every corner of the country.
Being present at every single shop of the country is the success of the m-Pesa. However, opening a merchant  account requires you to go through a process of opening a corporate account and without merchant adoption of mobile accounts, the mobile payments has a bumpy road ahead.
at www.brightspyre.com we find ways to solve un-employment issues by working in jobs, micro-work and education domain.
you can contact writer at twitter.com/fasialchohan 

One thought on “Problems with Mobile Payments Adoption in Pakistan

  1. Online shopping, PayPal, and online payments are on the rise. Providing safe Merchant Account Services that are efficient should be a first priority for any savvy company that wants to not only stay on the pulse of the industry, but also forge ahead.

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