Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Considering the age distribution of subscriber population

One of the more thought provoking articles of the week highlighted the huge difference in age distribution between first world markets and emerging markets. (Read here). According to the article as much as 50% of the population is younger than 15 years. These people, while part of the population are unlikely to have a mobile phone and have very little income or wealth. This is significantly different by factors to first world countries.

This is particularly important from a mobile banking perspective for emerging markets for some of the following reasons:
  • The spectacular penetration rates of mobile banking in emerging markets are actually even more impressive. A high penetration rate for the population is even higher if one considers the real addressable market.
  • The future market for mobile banking is big in these countries and can be reached as they mature if the products are designed to be relevant. By offering the right financial products for youngsters, suppliers of mobile banking will catch the future market as it matures.
  • One should develop a separate distribution strategy aimed at teenagers with different needs and affordability.
Looking at the markets in Africa through a lens that is age sensitive, one will see many different aspects.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true! Just as social networking took hold and spread like wildfire in the younger generation, so too will mobile banking if marketed and distributed at teenagers in emerging markets (example: parents can transfer allowances to their teenagers; and subtract money for chores not done)! Coupling this with financial management education for both parents and teenagers could be the key to dominance in this industry.