Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a country so complex it defies easy description. A place of such diversity it hosts 850 distinct languages for a population of about 7 million. The population figure, mind you, is only a guess as nobody really knows.
Mobile money feels right for mobile network operators (MNOs): it is an extension of the basic prepaid platform and distribution networks they already operate. Mobile money does require greater surveillance against fraud and money laundering measures, but it’s all fundamentally about secure messaging.
We have previously discussed on this blog how consumer goods retailers can be part of the financial inclusion landscape. Today, we start to expand on that theme, explaining briefly why retailers are an exciting opportunity for financial inclusion but how that opportunity is not present in every market and, where it is present, how certain types of retailers could place themselves better to serve low-income consumers.
CGAP, in collaboration with the College of Agricultural Banking, just completed a national survey, which captured the big picture on agents across the country. In India, the term customer service point (CSP) is used to refer to individuals who act as agents on behalf of banks.
All around the world, social protection is evolving into much more than a safety net for the poor. It is becoming a tool for financial inclusion and economic opportunity. Interestingly, stories like these, and the trends behind them, were barely on the radar of the global financial inclusion field three years ago when CGAP published the first official estimate of financially-inclusive G2P payments. Since then, government, donor and NGO efforts to link financial access to government payments has become a swiftly growing movement.
Mexico has 27 million households. Twenty-two million of them are middle and low income. Even though banks reach them physically, almost none of these people choose to use bank accounts to manage their money. Watch this eight-minute video in which Xavier faz talks with five low income Mexicans about their day-to-day money management strategies.
When we launched Jipange KuSave – a mobile-only savings product – in Kenya in early 2010, our goal was to out-compete the mattress. Back then, Safaricom’s M-PESA service was in hyper-growth phase and ramping up to become the de facto national retail payment system. But even more exciting was M-PESA’s potential as a pervasive and low-cost delivery channel for a wider set of financial services.
Until recently, Zoona, formerly known as Mobile Transactions could have been considered the best kept secret in Africa. Operating in Zambia on a shoe-string budget, they have been developing their own unique business model for electronic financial services slowly and with little media attention. Now, as of February 2012, this small company has secured investments from three big investors, Omidyar Network, ACCION Frontier Investments, and Sarona Asset Management. All three are banking on the fact that Zoona’s experience and innovative approach to serving a range of consumers situates them to fill crucial gaps in the mobile money transactions and payments market in Africa.