2010, a Year in Review

January 7, 2011 | Mobile Money | Global | Camilo Tellez

Please find below some of the highlights from the MMU Blog in 2010

1.   MMU Launches Mobile Money Deployment Tracker

MMU launched in January the GSMA Mobile Money Deployment Tracker. This interactive tool was designed to track the number of live and planned mobile money deployments targeting the unbanked  segment, and present relevant data on the models and countries in which they operate.

2.   Mobile Money at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2010

The city of Barcelona took a distinctly mobile flavour in February, as 50,000 people descend on the Catalan capital for GSMA Mobile World Congress.  The focus of the 4th MMU Working Group was to share learnings with the industry – from our case studies, our ongoing research on agent networks, early insights across the Fund portfolio, and from key operators themselves such as Zain, Grameenphone, SMART and Roshan

3.   GSMA Hosts Central African Mobile Money Roundtable in Cameroon

In February, The GSMA hosted in Yaounde the Central African Mobile Money Roundtable. This was the first regional event of its kind designed to share information and experiences regulating mobile money with BEAC, the financial services regulator for the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCA).  The roundtable was attended by MTN, Orange, Zain, Camtel, Citibank, Afriland First Bank, BEAC, BCEAO, Central Bank of Kenya (thanks to the support of the Alliance of Financial Inclusion), Bank of Ghana, CGAP and GSMA.

4.  Beyond P2P Transfers

It used to be that mobile money was synonymous with domestic p2p transfers – the “killer app” that propelled Safaricom’s M-PESA to such extraordinary success. In March, Neil Davidson explored how some operators have begun to explore more seriously other services that users might value on the mobile money platform like bill payments and microfinance payments.

5.  GSMA Publish Handbook on Agent Networks: How to Build, Incentivise and Manage a Network of Mobile Money Agents

In April, the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Team at the GSMA released a handbook for mobile network operators on building, incentivising, and managing networks of mobile money agents. This report was the product of six months of research into and analysis of the ways that mobile network operators and other providers of mobile money services approach distribution.

6. GSMA Announces Seven New Grant Recipients from the MMU Fund during MMS  in Rio.

In May, The GSMA announced the details of a further seven grantees from the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Fund, including  Cellcard in Cambodia, Digicel in Fiji, Orange in West Africa, Safaricom in Kenya, Tata Indicom in India, Telenor in Pakistan, and Tigo in Africa.

7. 2010 Mobile Money for the Unbanked Annual Report published

At MMS, the GSMA also released its 2010 Mobile Money for the Unbanked Annual Report. The report catalogued key pieces of work, including a reference guide on how to build, incentivise and manage an agent network and detailed case studies on Zap, True Money and the Philippines. In addition, it featured an update on the MMU Fund Portfolio and new articles by Frederik Eijkman, Jake Kendall and Ignacio Mas from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

8. Methodology for Assessing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks

In June, MMU published a ‘Methodology for Assessing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks’ which is based on the existing framework of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations. This document focuses on how proportionate rules ensure that AML/CFT rules are effective and that the benefits of mobile money services reach large parts of the unbanked population.

9. Getting the Agent Commission Model Right

In August, Paul Leishman described four pitfalls that MNOs should avoid when designing their mobile money agent commission models: Offering agents fixed percentage-based commissions,  fixed-value commissions, and disproportionately large registration commissions amongst others.

10. MMU hosts 5th Working Group in Kuala Lumpur

Mobile operators descended on the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 5th MMU Working Group which took place during the 5th and 6th of October. Following the success of Mobile Money Summit in Rio, we shared our latest learnings with the industry – from our ongoing research on customer activation, profitability, to insights into bank partnerships

11. Is There Really Any Money in Mobile Money?

Finally, In October and November, the GSMA studied its portfolio of MMU fund grantees, which includes rapidly scaling deployments like easypaisa in Pakistan, interviewed mobile money practitioners; and conducted a deep-dive into the operational and financial results of MTN Uganda’s MobileMoney in order to answer the question: Is there really money in Mobile Money?  This series of posts presented the findings from this study.

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