A collection of news clippings and information relating to the latest developments in mobile banking and mobile payments
One of the neat things about innovation in the mobile space is that it is a far more global trend than the previous rounds of PC-based technological advances. Asia, Europe, and the United States are all playing large roles, but even Africa is taking part.
One recent example comes from Kenya, where Safaricom, the country's leading mobile provider is making waves with its cash transfer service M-Pesa. The popular p2p money-transfer service added almost USD$8 million to the company's bottom line in its first three months of operations.
M-Pesa's sights are now set on becoming the commerce platform of choice in a country where credit cards have struggled to reach the mostly "unbanked" population. The potential stakes are huge for the various players and will be exciting to watch.
India has a population of approximately 1.136 billion people of which 72.2% live in rural areas. A majority of these people including low income people who live in urban areas do not have access to the banking system as opening an account is a major hurdle.Eko India Financial Services Private Limited (www.eko.co.in) - startup company based in Delhi, India is looking to extend banking facilities in these untapped/un-banked areas through the use of mobile phone as a channel (currently there are over 200 million mobile phone subscribers (GSM & CDMA). Eko is looking to ensure greater financial inclusion and increase the outreach of the banking sector as envisaged by RBI – the Indian Federal Bank through the use of Business Correspondent Model. Initially starting with No-Frills Savings Accounts, Eko later intends to have three lines of business; platform, membership and payment. Eko has signed Letters of Intent with three banks including a large MNC bank and two Indian private banks to do a pilot at Uttam Nagar, a low income area in west Delhi. The pilot project is scheduled to go live in the 1st week of December.Eko aims to become a $1 billion market cap company by 2011. This will require Eko to be a $100million plus revenue company with clear visibility to $1 billion in revenue by 2015 with good profitability.Our team can execute and has the ability to attract world class talent. We believe that we are capable of achieving the targets as we have a disruptive solution that leverages the widespread usage of mobile phones and processes that are based on a self regulating “Circle of Trust” powered by Eko Relationship Officers (agents). Eko is adapting the success of prepaid methodology in the telecom industry for financial inclusion using several innovations, one of which we have patented. Eko aims to have 100 million plus members and the ARPM (Average Revenue per Member) will grow from $1 per member annually to $10 per member. In other words Eko is aiming at building critical mass and monetizing it.With the pilot project we aim to refine our model and once we have a robust system we will grow rapidly. Eko is also fortunate to be in a space where they will help improve the lives of their members with dramatic improvement for the lower income group.Eko has a number of competitors and expects the number to rise. We ensure zero cost for the customers. Additionally, our competitive advantage lies in our ability not only to innovate and execute on a total end-to-end solution but also bring in ease of use for the customers rather than just be a technology provider. Further, our business model aligns the incentives for all the members of the eco-system to make a win-win deal for all. We will have to run smarter and harder to become one of the leaders (market is very big for just one dominant player). It gives us some comfort that in disruptive models incumbents find it difficult to compete.
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