In keeping with this optimistic view of a still uncertain India venture, we conclude with three more positive items to highlight. Two reflect new changes by the government and one goes back to the fundamentals.
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.
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.
Eko was the first company dedicated to a mobile phone-based basic savings account and payment service for the unbanked in India. Launched in 2007, Eko has carefully developed a mobile-based service usable on the most basic of handsets and continually revised and re-fashioned its approach.