Mobile for Development Blog

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Belgacom ICS and RBS MOU: What it Means for Mobile Operators

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This week Belgacom ICS and RBS announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the facilitation of foreign currency exchange for mobile remittances.

Unbankable Identities? ID as a Challenge at the Base of the Pyramid

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ID systems in developing countries attract a lot of attention from the financial inclusion sector. And for good reason – in many cases they can be a key factor contributing to the uptake of mobile money.

MTN Mobile Money – Spotlight on Ghana

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Earlier this week I spoke with Bruno Akpaka from MTN Mobile Money in Ghana. MTN have rapidly grown the network of MTN Mobile Money merchants using a unique approach that is closely linked to their partnership with 9 banks in Ghana.

Launch of Mobile Money Video Directory

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Today we launched a new feature on the blog – the mobile money video directory. Click on the ‘Videos’ link at left to check it out. There are already more than 50 videos in the directory, and this number will continue to grow.

Telenor Launches ‘easypaisa’ in Pakistan

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Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Microfinance Bank yesterday announced the launch of ‘easypaisa’, described as ‘a uniquely convenient and safe way for the people of Pakistan to carry out financial transactions.’

MTN Mobile Money: Spotlight on Uganda

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Earlier this week I spoke with Richard Mwami, Head of MTN Mobile Money in Uganda. Richard described the model that MTN has taken to market in the country, the agent network that has been built, and the growth they have experienced to date.

Highlights from 2009 Alliance for Financial Inclusion Global Policy Forum

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The Alliance of Financial Inclusion (AFI) is a newly established organisation aimed at enabling 50 million people living on less than $2 a day to have access to formal financial services by 2012.

GSMA Closer to Goal of Creating Financial Security for 20m Unbanked by 2012

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The GSMA is providing grants to operators in order to accelerate mobile money deployments around the world. Today, we are able to announce the first four of these operators who will receive grants; these are AXIS in Indonesia, Oi Paggo in Brazil, Roshan in Afghanistan and ...

The Rise of Mobile Money in Asia

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For some time, mobile money news has been dominated by activity in Africa: announcements by group operators with a presence in the region such as MTN, Vodafone, Zain, Orange and Orascom have been hogging the international headlines.

Article from Ignacio Mas – The Economics of Branchless Banking

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Agent distribution and the economics of branchless banking is a topic of great importance to the great work in this field, and today I’m pleased to share an important article from Ignacio Mas of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

M-PAISA Part 2: Interview with Zahir Khoja

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This is the second part of my conversation with Zahir Khoja. In this segment, Zahir describes the significance of the phrase ‘The Hawala on your Mobile’, the market conditions that were taken into account when designing M-PAISA, the process and importance of agent training, ...

Learnings from M-PESA in Kenya and Tanzania

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The mobile money community has watched (and compared) the adoption of M-PESA in Kenya and Tanzania with great interest. We're pleased this month to offer an article from Gunnar Camner and Emil Sjoblom from Valuable Bits, and Caroline Pulver from FSD Kenya.

Roamware Acquires Macalla – Industry Investment in Mobile Money for the Unbanked Continues

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As more and more operators are becoming interested in mobile money, it is encouraging to see that the largest technology players are anticipating and responding to their customer’s needs; which is great for the industry and ultimately the unbanked.

M-PAISA: Zahir Khoja Describes the Challenges and Opportunities of Launching Mobile Money in Afghanistan

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Earlier this week I had an opportunity to speak with Zahir Khoja, Executive Director – Mobile Money (M-PAISA) at Roshan. As the world’s focus turns once again to Afghanistan during the country’s elections process, I wanted to get Zahir’s perspective on launching mobile money.

Panel Discussion with Jojo Malolos and Rizza Maniego-Eala at the Mobile Money Summit

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The following is a partial transcript of a panel discussion held at the Mobile Money Summit in June 2009 featuring Jojo Malolos of SMART Money and Rizza Maniego-Eala from G-Xchange.

The Filipino Mobile Money User – A Unique Profile

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Our recent survey in the Philippines suggests that the early adopters of mobile money are unique in two important ways: the way that they use of voice and data services, and the frequency that they purchase load.

The Importance of Network Quality in Mobile Money

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Earlier in the year, the GSMA and our friends at CGAP conducted a consumer survey in the Philippines, one of the most advanced markets for mobile money. To understand some of the factors that contribute to mobile money adoption, we spoke to over 1,000 unbanked customers

GSMA Mobile Money Exchange: Q&A

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The GSMA announced the launch of the Mobile Money Exchange initiative at this year’s Mobile Money Summit in Barcelona. In advance of the Exchange’s release by Q4 2009, Reed Peterson, Director of Business Development at the GSMA, has addressed some common questions

Mobile Money: a book to read, and two videos to watch

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In keeping with the theme established at the Barcelona MMU working group of ‘understanding the mobile money customer’, I’ve posted some suggested reading and viewing material.

GSMA Mobile Money Leadership Forum convenes financial regulators and the mobile industry

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The first annual Mobile Money Leadership Forum was held in Barcelona on 25 June, 2009. To our knowledge this was the first event of this size designed to promote dialogue between financial regulators and the mobile industry.