Mobile phone instead of wallet

21-07-2017

Source: biz.nv.ua.

When leaving the house, you will check only whether you took your mobile phone. You can do well without your wallet.

The Cabinet of Ministers has removed the barriers to the development of the mobile payments market since July 12. The Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) estimated that the volume of this market would reach 17 billion hryvnas in two years.

In half the countries worldwide, a mobile account can be used to pay for goods and services, as well as for money transfers. For example, in Prague, it is possible to pay a subway fare via SMS. In Singapore, you can pay for Apple services without a bank card as well – it is enough to have a mobile phone. And so on.

In Ukraine, this sector is not developed at all not because the operators do not want, but due to regulatory barriers. Until recently, due to imperfect legislation, funds from a mobile account could be actually used only for communication services.

There were the following reasons for this:

  • the procedure of paying 7.5% of pension charges from mobile communication (it was paid even if the funds were not used for mobile communication);
  • the need for a subscriber’s personal visit to the operator’s office to make a transaction (obligation to be identified when returning funds).

In fact, these two provisions (subordinate) blocked the appearance of the entire market.

On July 4, 2017, the government adopted Resolution No.462, which removed these two barriers (came into legal force on July 12).

In the coming months, the following possibilities will become a reality for Ukrainians:

  • paying in stores and for rides on public transport via SMS / QR-code / USSD,
  • transferring money from a mobile account to a bank card.

It’s only a matter of time when mobile operators will set up appropriate processes. And they promise to do it as soon as possible. Moreover, they are interested in this, because as a result, they will increase the average income per subscriber (which is very low in Ukraine).

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It should also be emphasized that mobile payments will be available to subscribers without smartphones. It will be possible to pay without a wallet – just via SMS or USSD by using a regular phone even in a remote village without 3G and a smartphone.

This is especially important for the development of cashless payments in Ukraine, since there are only 11 thousand bank branches for almost 30 thousand settlements in Ukraine.

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Mobile payments will be useful for many Ukrainians, as in Ukraine, only 53% of the population have a bank account (this rate is 78% in neighboring Poland). They will have another convenient method of payments.

The BRDO Office together with representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has prepared the draft resolution No.462. Following the adoption of the Resolution, a roundtable with the participation of representatives of three operators, the Ministry of Economic Development, the NBU, the Regulatory Service, etc. was held.

According to  the discussion’s results, the following regulatory issues, which should be addressed for the  sustainable development of the mobile payments market, were identified:

  • issue of electronic money by non-bank financial institutions;
  • the possibility of remote identification;
  • electronic till-receipts;
  • limits on transactions with electronic money.

When these issues are resolved, it will allow us to talk not only about the payments market, but about the integrated market of mobile financial services (which includes lending and so on).

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