Financial Inclusion

Mobile Money – Happy Approach For Depressed

Will talk about Mobile Money here

This article focuses on how and what mobile money subscriber thinks about their experience of mobile money journey. Lot has been said on how to design, what to design, how to price, what all services to give (From service provider mind set). What customer wants, how customer wants, what customer understand and thinks in mind about this whole drama (For lay man it’s a drama/movie where he/she is an actor on side) is not visible.

All big brothers getting fond of magic or sticky word “PAY” and coming out every day with 2-3 names ending with Pay like “abcPay”, “thisPay” “thatPay” or even adding word “Pay” to their current well established and well known brand names.

Financial inclusion is all about accessibility and affordability. If we look this story from eyes of financial inclusion driver’s point of view then ministry of innovation will demand new “ministry of needs”.  The new ministry will be able to project this story better for the nation and its people.

Almost all (if not all) solutions today following anti clock style design. These  solution come out first with no problem in hand. Reference in last sentence is in relation with Mobile Financial Services.

There is no dull day in Payments business these days. The unglamorous world of clearing and settlement is a recipient of generous attention due to continuous launches of visible overlay propositions, often by non-banks.


What are the core elements of Mobile Money

We believe embedding core elements in mobile money proposition and delivery models will enable players to “play to win” in these turbulent times. The crux for financial inclusion is to give fair access of financial services to every one. The cost, kyc requirements and methods to use are key elements to win. If these goals left out of core model then this will become history and legacy to new age.

Play to win for financial inclusion needs new sight and vision “un-develop to innovate”. Innovation or new break through cant be achieved if one also look at same point where rest of the world is. Anyone can be financially excluded, as a result of the economic downturn we believe many more people then usual are struggling financially.

Classic example here can be this; after an individual spend 17 years of life at school for learning. On top gain 10 years of industry experience still in front of interviewer who makes efforts with help of 2 pager CV to access in less then 10 minutes. The interviewer asks 4 questions and judge capabilities. Better is we should learn the difference between being data-informed and data-driven.


As per wiki “Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society, in contrast to financial exclusion where those services are not available or affordable.”

In a typical setup of mobile money model customer wants to make use of their funds present in wallet. To date no MNO/MFS service provider of mobile money is able to assure this. Agents runs out of liquidity almost every day. One day “Agent ABC” another day “Agent XYZ” are stories we hear out load. Some smart efforts are required to tackle this sadly which is not on agenda for most of MFS service providers.

Agents some time do play tricks or run out of float due to their lack of knowledge or interest in their own business.

People that are financially excluded are often not able to access affordable credit. This problem goes beyond normal services as Mobile Money agents  also face the same issue. Agents who are so called touch points to solve this problem, this is like a problem where doctor treating disease ABC and die coz of same him self which is not at all good sign. People in this segment are  not willing to experience difficulties in obtaining a bank account any ways.

Example a mobile money user go and cash in to Agent ABC in area XYZ which is close to his/her home/office and 2 days later same person now needs cash so go backs to same agent in same area and meet the same individual in shop and ask for funds and gets surprised of his/her life when Agent says sorry I don’t have money please find at some other agent.

In this case subscriber with no knowledge on how this thing work; will start building incorrect perceptions and feel unsecured about money and in some cases might cry his/her heart out and only ask one question, “where is my money etc”. If this case is not handled well then game is over.

The success of mobile money heavily depends on accessibility. The agent is the primary access channel for mobile money as the conduct agent centred transaction like registrations, cash in and cash out transactions. Agents trade money for a commission. They also act, as the first contact for subscribers and it is prudent for a mobile money operator to invest in agent education. In above example if agent gets failed to explain and convince the subscriber or customer about what has happen to his/her money and how money can be accessed from that day particular customer is lost. The operator defines agent qualification criterion after considering the requirements of the regulator. The density of agents has to be predefined by the operator to maintain profitability of agents as well as accessibility to subscribers.

Financial inclusion is defined in many ways or in many words; some time in poor english and some time in excellent english but this is just the ability of an individual, household, or group to access appropriate financial services or products. Without this ability people are often referred to as financially excluded. So Mobile money needs to find the correct home in correct environment. Some questions where asked from real user see their response.

 Hash Tagas : #Mobilemoney_basics , #mobilemoney, #agents

 : Mobile Money was mainly for financial inclusion. This service was to give to unbanked customer’s a financial service access. Customers who generally shy away from banking halls. This specific category want to access money with ease but with low cost and as per their needs. Mobile money is transactional business not deposit based i.e fundamental bank’s banking model. Banks make money when money is left and forgotten in account by customer. In case of  mobile money the service provider makes money when its transacted.

Countries like India where people have seen from generations that they go to bank and do all business for free but now if any one ask for small fee for their cash handling people raise their eye brows. Financial Inclusion and profitable business model always struggle to work together.


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2 replies »

  1. The article is on point – Strategy about Mobile Money (which essecially is about financila inclusion) should be formed around this key objectives

    – Mobile Money is about easing Domestic Remittance from cities to Villages
    – Mobile Money is about Availability of Agents to Withdral cash
    – Mobile Money is about Building Saving Culture

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