Mobile for Development Blog


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.