Within the United States, Europe, and East Asia, it’s easy to forget that not all countries worldwide have advanced digital infrastructures. Sure, we’re still discovering ways to prevent major hacking incidents, and some of our software programs sometimes need more patches than an old tire. But the fact is: the world’s most advanced economies have enjoyed an exceptionally high level of IT service for a long time.
Take eWallet services, for example. Use of eWallets in North America has been widespread for the better part of 20 years, but the digital billfolds are just now peaking in popularity in some developing nations that are about two decades behind us in the IT game.
Consumers in developing economies use eWallet services for many of the same reasons we do, but the context is often different. Below are four examples that demonstrate the point, and shed light on why eWallets in these countries may be more popular than in our own.
1. Compatibility With Mobile Phones
For most tech-savvy Westerners, a smartphone is a computer they take with them while on the go, but smartphones are the only personal computers that some consumers in developing economies possess. Many smartphones can be purchased for less than a desktop, laptop, or smart tablet — and their compact size makes them easier to protect from theft.
Because people in developing economies tend to have less disposable income than consumers in developed nations, an affordable cell phone with a strong battery and plenty of memory is a popular choice for a primary computer in developing areas. Plus, the device supports diverse forms of communication and gives people access to free apps that help organize and monitor finances, health information, personal to-do lists, and more.
According to a report from The Economist, the following areas spend the most mobile money among developing economies: Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. In these countries, mobile money expenditure accounts for the following percentages of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively: 55%, 65%, and 21%. Mobile money also drives a significant portion of Afghanistan’s GDP, accounting for 18%.
The numbers show just how robust smartphone technology has become throughout the world, and how eWallet services unleash the economic power of internet-capable cell phones when the devices reach the hands of consumers. In the U.S. and in other nations with advanced economies, consumers often make mobile purchases out of convenience while many individuals in developing nations make them out of necessity.
2. Access to the Global Marketplace
Americans often use eWallet services to buy things they can’t find in their home city, but people in developing economies frequently use the services to purchase goods that can’t be found in their entire country.
Say you live in Kenya, and you need to purchase a something that isn’t distributed in your country. You can log into your smartphone, visit a global ecommerce website, and place your order (As a bonus, you’re probably getting a discount on the medicine). The same goes for any number of other products whose manufacturers don’t have contracts with vendors in challenged economies.
Receiving what you order online can also be a problem is some developing nations, but step one for participating in global eCommerce has been established: the availability of global eWallet services. As these nations continue to develop, their shipping systems should improve to better meet the demands of eCommerce.
3. Safer Than Using Paper Money
Like so many people in developing economies, many U.S. residents favor digital money over cash because it can’t be physically stolen. However, in America, we’re generally trying to protect funds against criminals that do their best to dodge the authorities. In some developing economies, criminals are the authorities.
Shaky economies and good salaries don’t go hand in hand, prompting some law enforcement officials to shirk their legal obligations. For their victims, there are sometimes only two choices: willingly pay a bribe, or have the money extorted by threat of force.
It’s not as if clandestine cops can’t threaten their way into someone’s eWallet services, but the option is less attractive than stealing cash because it both creates a digital record of theft and simply isn’t practical for purchasing illegal products and services criminal types are well-known to seek.
4. High-Level eCommerce Security
Some developing nations offer nationally-based eWallet services, but the eCommerce security of these offerings is often significantly below the standards of developed countries. Within the past decade, the emergence of global eWallet providers that maintain PCI DSS compliance — which is the highest set of security standards for eCommerce transactions in the world — has made it possible to buy with more confidence than ever before.
It’s hard to get excited about making online purchases when there’s a decent chance your account information could fall into the wrong hands and lead to identity theft. Featuring the latest cyber security technology, the ironclad IT infrastructure of global PCI DSS compliant eWallet providers can eliminate this scenario.
Consequently, providers have done a great deal to make eWallet services exceptionally popular in developing economies. They’ve set security standards for domestic eWallet services in countries whose economies are gaining traction in the global marketplace.
How We Help Developing Economies
Allied Wallet supports developing economies by offering PCI DSS compliant eWallet services and merchant service accounts in 196 countries and 164 currencies. The internet provides a golden opportunity for these nations to increase sales of national products and services at home and abroad — and we help them do it. If you’re a merchant or consumer in a developing economy in need of secure eCommerce capabilities, we have solutions designed for you.
For more information about our services for merchants and individuals, please call us today in the U.S. at (888) 255-1137, call us in the U.K. at +44 203 318 8334, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to learning about your eCommerce needs and presenting the best solution!