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Mandisa Khumalo

DBA Graduate - 2014

Thesis title

the progress of mobile payment developments in South Africa: a systemic model of impacting factors.


Per Jenster

Dr. Madisa Khumalo is an experienced business manager, telecom marketing specialist with a strong background in market intelligence and development, research, strategy, and analysis in economic and politics. Her research interests are in mobile payment, financial inclusion and youth upskilling in the digital space. She led, managed, and directed social and fundraising activities for diplomat spouses in collaboration with counterparts, charity foundations, local businesses, and benefactors. Dr. Khumalo is a social entrepreneurship and activist.

South African mobile network operators are deploying mobile payments in the country and beyond with some successes and failures. However, not many studies investigate the promoting and inhibiting factors that may assist the MNOs and other actors in the mobile payments ecosystem to design and deploy mobile payments successfully. This research fills this gap and examines seven key factors that affect mobile payments deployment in South Africa. As actor network theory has been widely used by researchers to analyze the development of mobile communications technologies, this research adopts it as an analytical framework to inform and intepret this study. Different from other countries like Japan and Kenya, where the deployment of mobile payments has largely been successful, the deployment process in South Africa varies for each mobile network operator. The research extends to African countries where MNO has operations using available secondary data. There exist many debating issues in this area in industries, government and academic domains what entails successful adoption of mobile payments as thus far its elusive for many stakeholders, another gap the research fills by deduction of the findings. For example, the assumption that South Africa is a laggard in mobile payments adoption compared to other African countries. The examined constructs are; availability, affordability, accessibility, competition, regulatory, partnership and strategy of the deployed technologies by mobile network operators heavily influence the growth and adoption of mobile payments. Several researchers endevoured to create models on the adoption of mobile payments but none provides an all-inclusive framework that explains the dynamics of this process. Hence, this thesis is an interpretive, multi-case study examining the deployment of mobile payments in South Africa. Specifically, the researcher proposes that each mobile network operator has a different set of key success factors for deploying mobile payments influenced by the interaction and interplay of the marketplace, innovation and regulatory. Based on literature review of mobile technology adoption and previous frameworks, the comprehensive systemic research model integrates the seven key constructs that influence the deployment of mobile payments developed. The model extends existing frameworks and actor network theory by placing the consumer at the centre of the mobile payments ecosystem, examining these key constructs from a mobile network operators’ perspective, cognizant of the other actors in the ecosystem and proposing relationships between them. It also challenges Porter’s Five Factor competitive strategy model that shapes the profitability of industries in relation to the ‘social era’ ethos where in some areas the definition of competitive factors is blurred.