Friday, February 15, 2013

The beneficial impact of e-payments on GDP

It is one of my pet topics. The fact that converting cash into e-payments directly lead to an uplift in the macro economy of a region. I have blogged about this previously (Read here), but feel so strongly about it that a recent report (commissioned by Visa) made me think about this again. The main finding of the report was that almost a quarter of the GDP growth in Canada can be directly attributed to growth in e-payments. (Read here).

The assumption of the report is that e-payments lead to an acceleration of payments. Money arrive in wallets faster and can then be spent faster. This acceleration directly increase the total value spent over a given period, which (in turn) leads to higher economic activities.

Other secondary benefits of a reduction in cash, towards a auditable e-payments are (virtual) elimination of counterfeiting, a reduction in fraudulent transactions, lower operating costs of the overall payment eco-system, more efficient collection of statistics about the payment system and a more efficient collection of tax. All of the above can also contribute to growth in the economy.

The case for "electronifying" cash payments because of the beneficial impact on macro-economic indicators are staggering. By enabling an environment where cash payments are reduced, governments will benefit all.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Corporate mobile payments - another mobile money application?

It is amazing how many different (and innovative) applications appear now that critical mass mobile-money solutions are available in many countries. One could probably write a whole blog about these solutions. An angle that is worth looking at is the use of mobile money in the corporate world. A good friend, Killian Clifford (from Mobile Money Consulting), recently published a white paper on Corporate Mobile Payments (Read here). He looks at the different types of applications (paying suppliers, collecting debtors and others), he describes the eco-system and discusses the different players. It ts definitely worth a read.
The important take-away is that the availability of digital payments in emerging markets have changed the game. Tasks that in the past (constrained by cash-payments) were expensive, mundane and slow, can now be re-engineered to be efficient and fast. Not only can this lead to cost-savings, but it could allow corporates to re-think how they do business. Mobile payments can change the competitive landscape drastically. It is important that corporates in emerging markets embrace this, hoping that their competitors don't.

Friday, February 08, 2013

New Year resolutions - in February

I have way more ideas about blogs than time to write them all. So what happens is that blog ideas go on a list and then (when I have time), I write them. One blog idea that I had, was to reset my expectations on what I can get into my blog this year - a kind of new year resolution.

My life has taken a new dimension with more responsibilities. With new shareholders, working for a major corporation with a well-known brand, I have been extremely busy and time for blogging became less. Also my infrastructure changed (became more secure), which meant that I now blog with much more difficulty. On the other hand, I see so much more; what is now possible is so much more, and I would love to share more.

The fact that I post a new year resolution in February, is in some ways an indication of how difficult it became to keep on blogging. But here is my resolution: I will keep on blogging. My aim is to have at least one blog per week. I will try to keep on pushing the boundaries... but I will try and keep it short.