The striking thing about MWC 2023officially about mobile and telcosis how much fintech there was, with payments and money services increasingly becoming the most attractive revenue stream because they can push the consumer to make their mobile the center of their consumer lives.


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The striking thing about Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC 2023)—officially about mobile tech and telcos—is how much fintech there was. Across the event, the range of technology projects, products, services, and emerging research that put financial services into the mobile tech stack was quite something to behold. That does not mean that all these things were good, strategic, and commercially sound ideas. If there is an overarching takeaway, it is that we are in a period of significant flux: technology is advancing so quickly, in so many different directions, that it can be difficult to tie it together into a smart, strategic package that works for large commercial organizations. It is very easy to be dazzled by all the innovation and the fast pace of it, and that is where Omdia helps ensure that whatever clients want to do, they connect the technology with the realities of the market.

Telcos and fintechs broaden their money services offerings

Omdia’s Telco Services Innovation Radar has recorded no fewer than 21 new money-related product launches by telcos in 4Q22 that are trying to make money services a new revenue stream within their businesses. In part, this addresses the declining profitability of the core business of selling airtime and data: as that market saturates, there is a need for other revenue streams. Payments and money services are the most attractive revenue stream because they can push the consumer to make their mobile device the center of their consumer lives: if the service providers can ensure that people migrate more of their financial lives onto their mobiles—servicing their banks, utility bills, shopping, pensions, investments, and peer-to-peer payments—then it positions the telco at the center of their digital lives, with all the long-term revenue commitment and valuable data that comes with that.