Implementing ADC projects: What does it take?

Photo credit: Owens BPO

This post is written by Shital Shah, SBI Associate Consultant.

Making sure a mobile money venture is able to weather Death Valley and come out successfully while reaching clients and finding financial sustainability requires strategy, an understanding of the local context, and technical know-how.

SBI’s Alternative Delivery Channels (ADC) team works across regions and focuses on implementing innovative and sustainable projects with financial institutions and technology companies.  Across the ADC projects, SBI’s team of experts focus on any, or all, of the following components, which are really the main ingredients to any mobile banking venture:

  • Strategic guidance, including financial modeling and business planning – by working with the executive management, experts are able to provide business insights and strategic guidance on issues such as regulations and partnerships
  • Agent network management – experts that were involved in building up agent networks elsewhere in the world help figure out the nuts and bolts of channel management, from recruitment, selection, training, to management
  • Cash/float management – managing liquidity with the agents is a critical factor in making the business work, and needs the right policies and procedures
  • Technology – although technology is just one tool within the overall business, it does need to be well integrated and well functioning; the proper guidance can help secure core banking systems, integrate platforms, and meet business requirements successfully
  • Customer uptake – insights through market research, appropriate product development, pricing structures, and effective marketing are all some factors in creating rapid customer uptake

A project is never working in silo and is part of a live, dynamic, and larger business – the components above are often only a small piece of a much larger structure. With an approach of working as “enterprise partners,” ADC projects do not work within restrictive black boxes; rather, it means working closely with a partner to step out of (or avoid) Death Valley by pairing international experts and local knowledge, along with a keen business sense. Designing, financing, and building ADC projects requires a combination of careful planning, innovative implementation, and flexibility to respond to ever-changing circumstances.  In future posts, we will share further insight from SBI’s direct experience and analysis of projects working their way through the mobile money life cycle.

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2 thoughts on “Implementing ADC projects: What does it take?

  1. Being a part of the SBI Team and having the opportunity to work for a charitable Project aiming to develop a services outlet model that can utilize front end technologies to scale out the micro saving services of the largest Micro Finance Bank (MFB) in Pakistan i cannot over emphasize the need of the ADC’s to provide a cost effective and efficient way to build up financial assets for the poor while serving as a tool to cut down operational costs for the MFB.

    The Banking industry has consistently been dynamic in availing every opportunity to facilitate its target market and utilize possible advancements and enhancements in the human growth starting with the use of postal services during the 17th Century into utilizing telegraphic and telephonic means to enable money move from place to place.

    Whether it has been the near to century old utopian idea and ultimate use of plastic money or the current use of emoney, the conventional distributions channels of the Banks are still considered to be insufficient to cater to the banking services needs of the people and more so the poor in places like Pakistan despite the technology environment being fully conducive.

    Shital, there certainly is still a long and rugged way to weather across the Death Valley and the Institutions that are aiming at paving this way need full support by all stake holders whether business or social, in terms of the room needed to test and retest feasible ideas before a cashless banking solution is found through the ADC’s.

  2. Where there is a will there is a way so the most important thing that it takes is the commitment. Yes there could be several ways but as SBI has a commitment the many ways that it has worked upon lead towards financial inclusion and no doubt implementing the ADC’s are amongst the best known solutions.

    Being a part of the SBI Team and having the opportunity to work for a charitable Project aiming to develop a services outlet model that can utilize front end technologies to scale out the micro saving services of the largest Micro Finance Bank (MFB) in Pakistan the need of implementing the ADC’s to provide a cost effective and efficient way to build up financial assets for the poor while serving as a tool to cut down operational costs for the MFB.

    Whether it has been materialization of the near to a century old utopian idea and ultimate use of plastic money or the current use of e-money, the conventional distribution channels of the Banks are still insufficient to cost effectively cater to the banking services needs of the people and more so the poor.

    Shital, there certainly is still a long and rugged way to weather across the Death Valley but the Institutions that are aiming at paving this way need full support by all stake holders whether driven by business or social objectives in terms of the technical assistance and room needed to test and retest feasible ideas before a cashless banking solution may be found through the ADC’s.

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