TO GO WITH Lifestyle-IT-India-business-village FEATURE by Ammu Kannampilly In a picture taken on November 18, 2010 a neigbhourhood shopkeeper writes down transaction details after transferring money for customers using text commands on a mobile phone in New Delhi. India’s hunger for new technology is as sharp in its countless small villages as in its shiny office towers or shopping malls — and businesses are waking up to an area of massive potential growth. Specific designs being aimed at Indian villagers include a mobile phone cash-transfer system, robust low-energy refrigerators and a clever twist on the humble kitchen stove. AFP PHOTO/Manpreet ROMANA (Photo credit should read MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Operators of Mobile Money in the country have appealed to telecommunication companies to increase their commission to make the business viable.
According to them, they hardly make enough returns to cover their operational cost.
Speaking to Business Day in an interview, a dealer in stationeries and a mobile money operator at Odokor Official Town Mr. Eric Boateng, said that, the business is not lucrative.
“The business is unprofitable and the little you make cannot cover for the cost incurred in working. You cannot depend on mobile money operations for your family’s up keep. The profit margin is very minimal”, he said.
Pointing out a major challenge faced by operators, Mr. Boateng stated that lack of capital poses a huge threat to the enterprise.
He explained that, an operator needs enough money to be able to pay those who want to withdraw money from their account.
“Failure to do so might collapse the business because when they realize you don’t have money to pay them they will stop coming to you whether they are sending or receiving money”, he said.
Another operator at Kwashieman Zongo also told Business Day that the enterprise is plunged with many challenges, rendering it unattractive and unprofitable.
“I wish to appeal to the telcos to pay attention to those of us who operator the venture because our losses are huge and we serve quite a large section of the business community who need us to function properly”, she said.
She complained of low patronage due to lack of access to capital, which serves as a propeller for mobile money operators.
By AGNES ANSAH