Sunday, July 10, 2011

The pre-occupation of the world with m-Pesa.

"Will there ever be another mPesa?" reads the headline of a recent article. "Of course not", I wanted to say, but what is the point of the question? In the same way there will never be another Celpay or EasyPaisa for that matter. Yes, without any shadow of a doubt, mPesa had a major impact on the world's understanding of bringing financial services to the unbanked, but it has never been the only success and in many ways we can learn from many other similar solutions deployed in different parts of the world.

Other notable success-stories (to mention a few) are:
  • The Celpay deployment in Zambia, achieved remarkable commercial success with very low capital investment. Frequently recognised, Celpay has shown that this type of technology can be run profitably. Both mobile money deployments in the Philippines have shown significant impact in the social fiber of this company. Solutions ranging from micro lending and money remittances have been pioneered on these platforms.
  • The MTN Mobile Money deployment in Rwanda have shown faster growth (both in terms of take-up and transaction values) on a relative basis than mPesa in Kenya. In a country much smaller than Kenya, the growth in take-up has been phenomenal.
  • The Easypaisa implementation in Pakistan has been particularly impressive with a different business model in a very competitive market where banks are much more responsive and innovative than many other countries.
This pre-occupation with mPesa being the only example of a successful deployment of mobile financial services is harmful to the industry as a whole.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear you and understand that there are many different deployments that have also been successful, but why do you feel that the focus on mpesa is particularly harmful to the industry?

If the challenge is that the other deploys are not getting the same attention, then thats not an industry driven decision but rather that of less functional PR agencies for MTN money or Celpay, I think.