International audit and advisory firm, Mazars published a new study featuring a Mobile Payment Index that showed Sa was falling behind. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg
JOHANNESBURG - The international audit and advisory firm, Mazars, on Thursday published a new study featuring a Mobile Payment Index that showed South Africa was falling behind. 

The new study – the future of Telcos: Winning the client experience battle – highlighted the growth potential for telcos as well as how  firms can grow their bottom line if they can use mobile finance capabilities to shape, own and brand seamless customer experiences. 

From the 17 markets analysed, the top three countries are China, the US and the UK, while the bottom three are South Africa, Mexico and India. 

Julien Huvé, the head of telecoms Services at Mazars, said, “The business of Telcos is changing.... By using their devices to unlock shared, autonomous cars and ‘shop and go’ without having to reach for a physical wallet, customers are on the verge of a new seamless era. This is where the opportunity lies for Telcos, which can use mobile financial services to turn possibilities into reality.” 

By analysing the markets based on ten different variables related to regulation and infrastructure, consumer behaviour and mobile payment penetration, the Index provides an equivalent basis on which to compare mobile financial services opportunities around the globe. Mazars said ranked first in the payments index, China was well ahead in terms of usage. 

“Mobile payments have seen a tenfold increase since 2012 in China, a market that is continually shaped and driven by its two tech giants: Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay. 

“The value of mobile payments market in China  in 2018 was $6.8 trillion (Rxxxxx). It said that over the last decade, Africa had  become a global leader in mobile financial services with more than half the world’s mobile money companies operate on the continent. Kenya and Ivory Coast were the continent’s best-in-class in terms of mobile financial services usage. 

“Notably, mobile financial services play a transformative role for economic and social inclusion across the continent, particularly on women,“ it said.