Mobile for Development Blog

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Meeting the Microsavings Challenge

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In December, we shared an article by Ignacio Mas that described how microfinance is being ‘reframed’. That is, until now microfinance has implied micro ‘funding’ of poor clients with loans, whereas many now recognize that going forward, microsavings will be a critical ...

Tameer Microfinance Bank and Telenor Provide Insights on easypaisa

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The launch of Pakistan’s ‘easypaisa’ by Telenor and Tameer Microfinance Bank was one of the most exciting deployments of 2009 - Targeting the massive unbanked segment and initially supported by a network of 2,000 agents.

Reframing Microfinance: Enabling Small Savings and Payments, Everywhere

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I’m pleased to share an article recently written by Ignacio Mas, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Revisiting RICA – The Issue of SIM Registration

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In August we reported that South Africa was revising their RICA provisions to prohibit mobile network operators from registering new SIM cards without first capturing the customer’s identity.

A Closer Look at ‘Splash’ in Sierra Leone

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I recently had a conversation with Ben Farren, Director of Splash Mobile Money Ltd., to learn how Sierra Leone’s first mobile money deployment has been progressing since it launched 10 weeks ago.

Managing the Active Rate: Solutions to 3 Common Challenges

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Whenever a mobile money deployment announces customer numbers, the first question people typically ask is ‘yes, but how many of those customers are active’? It’s a fair question.

A Further USD$2 Million Awarded to Six New Grant Recipients of the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

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The Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme has awarded grants to AKTEL in Bangladesh, Dialog Telekom PLC in Sri Lanka, Grameenphone Ltd in Bangladesh, MTN Cameroon, MTN Uganda and Vodacom Tanzania. This is in addition to the grants that were already announced

Tactics for Tipping Markets: Influence Perceptions and Expectations

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How can operators influence the perception of the size of their network? Well for one thing, they can share their customer adoption numbers, assuming they are good. Safaricom made regular announcements in the two years after M-PESA’s launch, and these updates were widely ...

Tactics for Tipping Markets: Market Segmentation

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My last couple of posts might have been a bit discouraging, particularly if you’re trying to roll out mobile money. The idea of deferring profitability for years, in the hope that you’ll sign up enough users to become a sufficiently valuable network to justify price ...

Tactics for Tipping Markets: Subsidize Early Adopters

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In my last post, I said that network effects are apparent when the users of a given network care about how many other users are in the same network.

Understanding (and Exploiting) Network Effects in Mobile Money

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It’s often said that mobile money is a brand new business model. Neither traditional value-added services offered by mobile network operators nor financial services offered by bricks-and mortar-banks are very helpful as models when trying to think through the economics of ...

Mobile Money in the Philippines – The Market, The Models and Regulation

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The following case study offers a comprehensive view into the regulation, service, and ecosystem design that has led to the current state of play for mobile money in the Philippines.

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 ...