Heuristic Based User Interface Evaluation of Mobile Money Application: A Case Study

Heuristic Based User Interface Evaluation of Mobile Money Application: A Case Study

Bimal Aklesh Kumar (Fiji National University, Lautoka, Fiji) and Shamina Hussein (University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/ijhcr.2014040105

Abstract

Mobile money is creating entirely new opportunity for mobile devices and provides functionalities similar to e-commerce. The nature of these devices pose two major limitations that are small screen size and lack of input capability, which makes designing applications for mobile devices a challenging task. It is important that the user interface is user-friendly and help users easily obtain their desired results. This study applied heuristic evaluation to examine the interface of SMS based mobile money application provided by vodafone called M-Paisa in Fiji. User interface evaluation of this application based on seven heuristic involving fifteen experts is described. The results show that there are minor usability problems with M-Paisa interfaces and we provide our recommendations to address them. Findings of this research can be applied to develop a set of guidelines to support the future design of effective interfaces for other mobile money applications.
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Mobile Money In Fiji

Mobile money offers a new paradigm for utilizing mobile phones for enhanced transactional services that benefit the user and at the same time generate huge business volumes for the service providers with additional benefits at low costs. Mobile money is used to send money, withdraw cash, buy recharge, and pay bills via a mobile device such as a mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) performed via SMS applications.

In Fiji, the continuing success of mobile money has been due to the creation of a highly popular, affordable payment service without any involvement of a bank. The rise of banking transactions through mobile phones is giving a whole new meaning to pocket money in Fiji, that lack banks or cash machines. Many mobile phone users in Fiji live in informal or cash economies, without access to bank accounts. Mobile money has been widespread used in many other developing countries as well. According to Cornu (2010), an Afghan police officer gets his salary in a text message on his mobile phone while a Kenyan worker can dial a few numbers to send money to his family.

According to Krugel of GSM Association, approximately one billion consumers in the world have a mobile phone but no access to a bank account (Krugel, 2011). Mobile money applications are emerging as potential financial tools in rural and remote areas allowing people with no bank account to get paid, and pay their bills. Over the years, a lot of initiative has been instigated to provide various forms of financial services to the un-banked via mobile phones. These financial services take a variety of forms such as long-distance remittances of large sums of money, micro payments and alternative currencies where the stored minutes (phone credits) on a phone can replace cash holdings and transfers. Many initiatives stated can no longer be considered pilots; in the Philippines, in South Africa, in Kenya, and elsewhere, some variant of these services are available to virtually any customer on a nationwide GSM network . While not as ubiquitous as voice calls, text messages, or even ring tones mobile money is on the cusp of becoming a fixture in the developing world. In Fiji these services are provided by vodafone and referred to as M-Paisa.

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