Today, if you don’t find the quickest and easiest way to integrate and mainstream your offerings, you’re almost irrelevant. This week, I’ll take a look at Internet of Things (IoT) from a mobile money perspective.
Google defines the IoT as an environment in which objects, animals or people are each provided with a unique identifier and enabled to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Imagine a world where utility meters are smart! An electricity meter that can link directly to your household’s lighting or heating and moderate the energy spent depending on how much you budget or how much is remaining on your mobile money account with that provider. A world where water tanks automatically ensure you have enough water left for the month based on your regular consumption and expected rainfall for the next few days. These smart devices interconnected with other smart devices are not in the distant future.
Mobile money in emerging regions will be the catalyst for creating smart cities. Once a city is entirely mobile and digital, we will start to see the full potential of IoT. Suddenly, interoperability is not limited to banks and telecoms. Any company can integrate into this payment and mobile money ecosystem, and force the competition also to innovate. Once the ecosystem is built, machines or devices will be able to determine the best rate and company for every aspect of your life automatically.
For developed regions, the future of self-driving cars and automated parking meters will be very interesting to watch. The mobile phone is already becoming a crucial part of our lives, yet IoT will empower the smartphone to control automatically more aspects of our lives that we’ve ever considered.
Both regions will rely heavily on their mobile phones to complete and transact with all sorts of smart devices. Mobile money accounts will also provide users with an added perception of security as they are not directly linked to their personal bank accounts. Consumers can have more control over their accounts with a simple approval process via a mobile app or USSD/SMS confirmation.
IoT is still a relatively new concept, but there are already various applications within different industries. Cities are already utilizing IoT to monitor rubbish bins and optimize waste collection and management. Health applications are allowing parents to monitor their infant’s breathing and heart rate continually, with automated ambulance communication if they reach dangerous levels.
The Internet of Things and Machine to Machine (M2M) communication are very interesting topics. IoT will affect everyone and everything within the next few years, and we’ll be at the forefront within the payments space.