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Mobile Money Transfer: Pros and Cons

Updated on Jan 25, 2019
Man using CompareRemit on Mobile Phone

In countries like North America or Britain, mobile money accounts are on the rise, and will only continue to skyrocket as technology continues to evolve. Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Square, PayPal and Zapp are in the forefront. In truth, the market is saturated with hundreds of startups, while some banks, retailers and financial service agents are launching their own channels. It’s the smartphone that drives this revolution, helped, in turn, by smartphone apps that allow users to store, send and receive money using their phone, lessening the need for physical banks all together.

Advantages of Mobile Money

Pervasive - Mobile payment covers everything including utility bills, school fees, taxes, and international transfers from family and friends. You can pay your bills, transfer funds, check account balances, review your recent transaction, andblock your ATM card, etc., all through your smartphone. Everything that your bank does, mobile payment does just as well, and faster.

Cheap - Mobile money transfer avoids the high interest and exchange rates of banks that are, particularly, steep in certain remote areas of the USA or Canada. Banks offer this service at extremely low to nil charge to customers making mobile money transfers very cost effective.

Safe - Mobile payments are just as safe as bank transfers, since they’re protected by local financial regulations such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the United States or the Department for International Development (DFID) in Britain. All transactions are protected by private PIN, while Mobile Money stores a record of each deal.

Accessible - Going to a bank takes time and hassle.  Sibel Kusimba, an anthropology lecturer at American University, contributes part of the attraction of mobile payment to its ease of access. Better still, mobile banking is available round the clock 24/7/365 and is there when you are - unlike your bank.

Disadvantages of Mobile Money

Security - While sending money via mobile money transfers is safe, it is still possible that users may receive fake messages called "Smishing" which ask for Bank details and because of this, many users fall victim to scam and theft.

Availability - You need an app for mobile banking and certain apps may only be available only on certain high-end smartphones.

In addition to these drawbacks, it is also possible that your bank may start charging you more for the mobile banking services as well as the fact that mobile phones are limited in processing speeds, screen size and battery life, which may interfere with your payment transference.

More people around the world turn to mobile payments rather than to banks. It’s cheaper, faster, safer and more accessible. On the other hand, you need a high-end smartphone to conduct the service, you may need to pay more in the long run - and watch out for scams. Even with these drawbacks however, money transfer agencies still see mobile payment as the future for sending funds from one country to another.

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