Friday, January 15, 2010

The importance of researching mobile money markets

Many people representing many different organisations are working extremely hard at building a new world off mobile financial services. The operators of mobile payment services, mobile network operators, banks and regulators all have dedicated staff that are very committed to mobile money initiatives. Engineers and architects working for vendors (like our dedicated people at Fundamo) also contribute to the shared vision.

Yet, people that perform an essential role in growing this industry are often overlooked. These are the analysts and researchers that observe, measure and give feedback to the practitioners. Without their efforts, it would be impossible to motivate sales, investment and regulatory changes. If we are not able to point to improvements, growth and successes, this industry would die. Similarly, we also have to be accurate at what has been done wrong. It is analysts that help us do this.

Many organisation do stirling work in this regard. I am thinking of institutions like the Finmark Trust, MicroSave and Bankable Frontiers. This article has been triggered by the excellent work being done by the guys at CGAP. Mark, Ignacio (who is now at the Gates Foundation), Jim and all the rest; keep up the good work.

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