Mobile Commerce in Developing Countries Essay
Mobile Commerce or M-commerce as it is more normally referred to is merely the ability to make concern electronically without any physical restrictions or barriers. This is more popular with the usage of smartphones today and other nomadic devices. After researching several diaries and articles. it is obvious at this point that there is no standard definition of the term “Mobile Commerce. ” Many writers and authors have coined phrases and come up with definitions that are similar to each other ; the general thought is similar but the words in the different definitions vary slightly.
However. one acceptable definition is used and this comes from Liang and Wei ( 2004 ) . “M-Commerce by and large refers to the usage of radio devices ( peculiarly mobile phones ) to carry on electronic concern minutess. such as merchandise ordination. fund transportations. and stock trading” ( p. 7 ) . M-Commerce was formed as a consequence of the Internet and nomadic calculating coming together to make a new concern country. The benefits of Mobile Commerce are about eternal and a few will be discussed subsequently in the analysis.
However. the focal point of this paper is the outgrowth of this tendency in developing states with accent on Africa- Nigeria to be precise. The population of Nigeria is over 150 million touting one of the largest markets in Africa. Akpan-Obong ( 2009 ) states that “Nigeria is a major histrion in the Information and Communication Technologies ( ICT ) sector in Africa. Nigeria has so far recorded important accomplishments in ICT use. and has recorded higher growing rates in the incursion and diffusion degrees of ICT” ( p. 208 ) .
With Mobile Commerce quickly taking over the concern universe. it is of import to derive an apprehension of how the so called major histrions are fairing on the playing field hence the accent on Nigeria in the subject of Mobile Commerce. Article Summaries Liang ( 2004 ) and Akpan-Obong ( 2009 ) in their separate articles introduce the construct of Mobile Commerce and present by and large recognized definitions of the term. While Liang focuses on the likely successes and failures of M-Commerce applications. Akpan-Obong specifically suggests electricity and infrastructural insufficiencies as the grounds for the underutilization of M-Commerce in Nigeria.
Greengard ( 2008 ) goes on to discourse the general impact of nomadic phones on the universe as a whole. He talks about the development chances that the presence of nomadic phone engineerings has created with the transmutation of commercialism. banking and health care. In his article. he states that the most profound alterations and biggest dividends are being realized in developing states. Formulation of a series of hypotheses from a research theoretical account developed by Peter. Philip and Victor ( 2005 ) identifies some of the factors impacting the usage of nomadic ICT in the least developed states.
Ayo and Agboola ( 2006 ) dig into the utilizations of M-commerce in Nigeria and how this engineering is going widespread in the state. Solutions are besides offered to cover with the issues of underutilization of the engineering. Generally. these articles discuss the current patterns and besides awaited future executions of M-Commerce. The Internet. which is a signifier of electronic commercialism has been in being for old ages but it has been hard to cover as much of the market as it could particularly in some parts of the universe where comfortss like a computing machine are non merely unaffordable but considered a luxury.
With the outgrowth of nomadic phones. “an of import fact to see is that M-Commerce is deriving relevancy because the incursion of nomadic phones is much larger than the incursion of Internet entree ( Duffey. 1998 ) in most states. Greengard ( 2008 ) . foreground a few of the relevant utilizations of this engineering: “Although Mobile phones have already transformed the more flush states. they are pealing up some of the most profound changes- and biggest dividends- in developing states. Today. people are utilizing nomadic phones to track harvest monetary values in Kenya and manage micropayments in the Philippines.
They are tapping into these devices to manage healthcare information in Nicaragua and supervise bakery orders in Nigeria” ( p. 17 ) . Gone are the yearss when Africa as a whole was considered rearward and inconsequential when it came to affairs of technological promotions. substructure and comfortss. Like most developing states. Nigeria in specific has non yet implemented M-Commerce on a full graduated table. However. the tendency is get downing to emerge with the visual aspect of nomadic phones in every nook and crevice of the state. Now. unlike earlier. devices like nomadic phones are no longer seen as sacred or merely for the rich and celebrated in society.
Rotberg was spot on when he stated. “it is the first clip in the history of engineering that societal category and geographics are mostly irrelevant” ( as cited in Greengard. 2008. p. 18 ) . Almost anyone who is of speaking age owns a cell phone in Nigeria. From the executives at the celebrated hardworking houses. the pupils go toing public schools who cant even afford to purchase text editions and even the husbandmans in the small towns and rural countries ; the fishermen selling fish at the local market and even the homemakers who grow veggies and cultivate farm animal in their backyards.
Owning a nomadic phone is no longer considered a luxury and does non be an arm and a leg like it used to merely a few old ages ago. This remarkable ground that the phones are now easy low-cost and available for purchase by every Tom. Dick and Harry is what has fostered the outgrowth of Mobile Commerce in Africa. Nigeria to be precise. With the nomadic phones deriving more popularity with the people in Nigeria. so besides has the technological benefits been exploited. The wireless handheld devices have orchestrated the usage of e-banking services in Nigeria.
Harmonizing to Ayo et Al. ( 2007 ) . “virtually all the 25 Bankss that survived the recent capitalisation exercising prosecute the usage of ICT as a platform for effectual and efficient bringing of banking services. Consequently. electronic cards. Internet banking and Mobile banking services are bit by bit being introduced. However. M-Banking activities are limited to mobile finance information. download or pealing tones and music every bit good as telematic services. peculiarly. vehicle tracking. larceny protection and exigency services” ( p. 13 ) .
As more and more promotions are pursued. banking will go non merely flexible but besides more convenient. Customers now have the luxury of look intoing their bank histories on their nomadic device without holding to take a trip to the local subdivision of their Bankss nearest to them. They besides enjoy the comfort of immediateness. information at their fingertips. The banking sector is one of the first and more of import facets of Mobile Commerce that has emerged in Nigeria. However. there is besides much ballyhoo about the small things that are being derived from this technological promotion.
Ayo et Al. ( 2007 ) states decidedly “the success of M-Commerce has partially been due to developments in nomadic communicating techniques. Cellular webs were originally designed for voice-only communicating. To back up M-Commerce minutess. which are informations based. there has been an development of these webs from parallel to digital and from circuit switched to packet switched webs. Today a figure of these nomadic communicating engineerings are available” ( p. 11 ) .
Some of the strengths of Mobile Commerce in Nigeria are attributed to the GSM operators and the services that they render to their clients. The three major operators are MTN. Celtel and Globacom. Their services include: Voicemail. WAP services. SMS. client services. name forwarding. international dialing. Celtel nomadic office. faxmail. roaming. client attention and Broadband Internet Access that offers Broadband Internet to residential users merely to call a few. These services allow clients to deduce extreme satisfaction from the emerging tendencies in the promotion of Mobile Commerce.
In his article. Greengard ( 2008 ) talked about one incidence in peculiar. “A Nigerian baker started taking orders for bars via SMS and rapidly expanded his presence beyond his immediate vicinity. He experienced a 30 % addition in sales” ( p. 17 ) . Many small-scale concerns are now basking the benefits of this technological promotion and they are utilizing its characteristics to broaden the range of their concerns and addition competitory advantage over their rivals in the industry.
If non for anything else. the client relationship that exists between the concern proprietors and their clients has been strengthened by the ability of the proprietors in supplying their services straight to the consumers via these nomadic handheld devices. The outgrowth of Mobile Commerce in Nigeria has brought with it both advantages and disadvantages. As with the nomadic banking. of class it is fast. convenient and nowadays really low-cost. there is besides the menace of security and the complex systems and expertness needed to run some of the plans.
There is a spread between those who are more technologically savvy and the layperson who grows harvests on his farm. This spread in cognition does non let the characteristics on some of these manus held devices to be to the full utilised. The phones being so low-cost that even the most basic of the devices could likely shop the Internet presuming all the characteristics are purchased. makes it likely that the phones are being underutilized to the most of its capablenesss. Most senior direction and more good to make persons are more concerned about the security of their minutess over this nomadic devices.
Research by Agboola ( 2006 ) . revealed “38. 2 % of the respondents considered security as a major menace. while 4. 3 % and 5. 4 % considered complication of services and cost severally as other factors” ( p. 3 ) . Apparently. the cost of nomadic telephone service is higher in Nigeria than other African states so it merely sensible that the cost of this service would be a major menace to Mobile banking as a whole. Another menace is the inaccessibility of basic substructure to back up this system such as electricity. among others.
The deficiency of electricity as a basic substructure in Nigeria has a ripple consequence because it affects every device that makes up the system. Without electricity. persons can non bear down their nomadic phones when the battery is depleted. This in itself. get the better of the intent of Mobile Commerce. as there is no fulfilment in having a phone when you can non utilize it when you want to. The systems in the Bankss that perform the updates to client histories and supply information to the clients would besides close down as a consequence of deficiency of electricity.
Automated Teller Machines ( ATMs ) . which are one of the first happenings of Mobile Banking in Nigeria. would hold to be shut down every bit good. With all the characteristics of the nomadic phones these yearss. it is merely a affair of clip before the developing states of Africa begin to bask all of the benefits that states like America are basking now. Although. seeing as how the promotion in America has non come to a arrest. it is more than probably that developing states would ever play catch up.
However. states grow at different gaits so it is merely wise to execute harmonizing to the capablenesss of the systems set up in the state until it can defy the trial of clip. Synthesis Mobile Commerce as a construct has a batch of chance for backing dependant on the available services. First of all. there were no nomadic phones at all in a state like Nigeria and so nomadic phones were introduced and the fad can non be contained. Now. the monumental growing of nomadic devices all over the universe. with over tierce of the universe population holding entree to it has given prominence to M-Commerce.
With technological promotions emerging mundane in different countries and industries. Mobile Commerce can merely acquire better as more commissariats are made to manage the cringle holes and cut down the menace that are soon confronting the market. There would most likely come a clip when Mobile Commerce is non merely the fastest manner of making concern but the most common. the most sure and besides the safest. It would shortly go a manner of life. Harmonizing to Peter et Al ( 2005 ) . “the state had experienced a phenomenal growing from a teledensity of 0. 49 in 2000 to 25. 22 in 2007.
This tendency has brought about a monumental development in the major sectors of the economic system such as banking. telecoms and commercialism in general” ( p. 140 ) . Nigeria. being the fastest turning telecoms state in Africa and the 3rd in the universe. it is about impossible to conceive of how much is yet to come by manner of engineering and other substructure. Today. African states may be fighting to keep their weight in the country of technological promotion in comparing with more advanced states like the United States. Tomorrow. the tabular arraies might merely be turned. One can merely wait and see. lay eyes on the hereafter!