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.