This post is written by Debbie Watkins, SBI Resident Adviser for the bKash project in Bangladesh. This is part of her ongoing series on “The Goal.”
Many organisations will use the services of an expert market research company when they need to find out “what people want” (and this is generally a better way than sending out in-house staff who think your proposed product is wonderful – refer to my previous article). The organisation tends to give a vague description of some questions they would like to be asked, then hands over a lot of money and waits for the results. The results, when they come back, will be represented in pie charts, bar charts and scatter diagrams in a range of colours. The organisation listens to the presentation and then goes ahead with what they were planning to do in the first place.
Photo credit: Audience Response Info
Sound familiar? And if so, how do you avoid it and get useful data that enables you to make informed decisions?
Rule number 1: Be totally, totally clear on what the big questions are you want answering. These could be something like: “what price should we charge our client?”; “where should we put our first 5/20/100 agents?”; “which products should we be offering and to whom?” Continue reading
This post is written by Jesse Fripp, SBI Vice President.
Mobile banking has come to refer to everything from texting account balance updates, conducting bill payment, money transfer and even mobile top-ups – in short, just about everything short of actual financial intermediation. In the thick of the frenzy and excitement around the promise and potential of mobile technologies, it might be easy to miss one area that mobile banking does not yet reliably cover – the core activities of value-adding and the regulated financial intermediation that truly drives financial inclusion. Allowing middle-income and poor families to make payments faster, more safely, and more conveniently certainly is a significant social and economic benefit, and these successes should be celebrated. However, payment facilitation is only the most basic function of banking services – and does comparatively little to expand economies or build assets and employment.
MNOs have brilliantly identified the low-hanging fruit of mobile payment facilitation as a powerful marketing tool to reinforce and strengthen their core business model of selling commoditized airtime. Mobile payments are truly the “killer app” of the MNO business model – building brand and customer loyalty, reducing churn, smoothing liquidity management for agents, and even potentially building a marginal but profitable sideline business line that leverages the sunk cost of their core telco infrastructure. This is a brilliant example of private sector innovation, driven by commercial incentives, and with a tangible social benefit, and should be applauded as it has been. Continue reading
Posted in Ecosystem, Practitioner Perspectives, SBI Posts
Tagged alternative delivery channels, beyond payments, bill payment, financial inclusion, financial institution, MNO, mobile banking, mobile top up, money transfer, practitioner perspectives, unbanked