Challenges such as financial illiteracy and enacting the right regulations to prevent consumers from being scammed are identified by one industry watcher as reasons for slower adoption of mobile payments technology in Asia.
According to the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator Asia (JFDI.Asia) CEO Hugh Mason, poor financial literacy is one of the main challenges faced by mobile payments proponents in Asia. This is particularly so among the region's emerging markets, he said.
"Financial literacy is a huge challenge and that feeds into the regulation question," Mason said. "When I first started my apprenticeship in 1986, I was paid in cash each week in a brown envelope. By 1990, it was mandatory to have a bank account, and suddenly people went from a situation where they had a teapot with money in it... to a situation where they had to deal with abstract numbers on a bank account, being offered credit cards and running up huge bills."
He added that people's financial illiteracy meant that regulators are very loathe to allow new payments vendors into the marketplace.