SMS payment NFC chip
The Kenyan mobile payment model is very simple, it works with SMS and with every mobile phone. Expensive smartphones do not need the users.
In Germany, on the other hand, the industry relies on NFC technology, with which, however, far too few mobile phones are equipped. Also Apple's current iPhone does not have an NFC chip yet. The pain threshold for trading to introduce the necessary infrastructure lies with ridiculous 5% NFC-enabled mobile phone. And this threshold is not yet reached.
Germany: too many possibilities
The number in direct comparison to Kenya shows how much the Company in this country have to lower their expectations - and where the rabbit is in the pepper: There are too many competing payment systems, under which customers can choose.
This makes it difficult for companies to establish a standard and as a result, no one is willing to invest in the appropriate infrastructure.
The skepticism is great
In addition, there is the great skepticism with which the topic is addressed here: As I was able to experience at Omnicard, many companies see no future in mobile payment; and also if the customer has the plastic cards anyway.
By the way, by the way, in the case of the doomsayers are the banks, perhaps also because they fear for their business - even if the Sparkasse has just started a pilot project for mobile payment.
Do not worry about data gagging
On the customer side, on the other hand, the security concerns, the well-known German fear: Who would like to trust in a smartphone in Germany all his life? To be honest, I am also skeptical.
However, the Kenyans I've talked to are not worried about this issue - even though Vodafone has in the past been struck by a somewhat peculiar notion of privacy and is also venturing far into net neutrality.
The dilemma of saturated markets
Overall, the example of mobile payment is very clearly the dilemma of a saturated market in the industries. The discussion on mobile payment methods has been conducted on the Omnicard and elsewhere since 10 years, but only too small steps are taking place.
Because there is already a good infrastructure for financial services, there is no need to introduce new payment procedures. Because the customer always chooses the payment option that seems most practical to him.
Above all, the banks are blocking themselves
Mobile payment options are due to the associated high technical effort in Germany rather not. Therefore, the demand is missing and on the contrary, in view of the competition, there is still the danger of Verzetzlung. Therefore, the companies do not move and everything stays the same.
As it also shows on the Omnicard, it is above all the banks that lock themselves. Even if the savings banks have just launched a pilot project with which they want to implement mobile payment nationwide - one might suspect they are afraid to give their market leadership in money management to mobile operators, as is the case in Kenya.
Kenya: The pure need as an innovation driver
In Kenya, with its much poorer infrastructure, customers' willingness to innovate is much higher. At the same time, operators were forced to find a simple solution, such as paying via SMS, because more complex systems would not have worked: people simply have no money on expensive smartphones.
The mobile payment idea therefore fell on fertile ground and flourished magnificently. As is often the case, pure economic necessity becomes a driver of innovation, while saturated markets need to be careful not to be de-linked.
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