Two gaps work together to limit the electronification of merchant payments. Customers with depleted electronic accounts are not naturally inclined to pay electronically at local shops, and shops not accustomed to paying their suppliers with electronic money are not so likely to actively promote it with their own customers. While that is the case, mobile money will not become part of customers’ and businesses’ everyday life.
Mobile money has the potential to grow into a broader notion of helping people manage payments, by offering manageability tools around the payments that are made or received and the money balances that are kept. Bundling of payments with software will be supported by two enablers: (i) the foreseeable spread of programmable phones, based on a few standard operating systems, with which these tools can be made more accessible and intuitive for end-users; and (ii) application programming interfaces (APIs) on mobile money systems, which permit a flexible integration of mobile payment flows with enterprises’ own accounting, resources and workflow management systems. This report outlines some of the ways electronic payment providers or 3rd parties can start enabling payment life-cycles through software.