Category Archives: Airtime

Pondering India’s Cashless Future

Chhotu here accepts digital currency payments via the mobile platform on a daily basis. His QR code is prominently displayed upfront next to the bottles of sauce, and a sticker displays the icons of all the payment apps acceptable to his Bhim app. The Bhim system, launched by the Government of India, is a godsend […]

Also posted in Alternative currency, Analysis, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, India, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Asia, Strategy, Technology, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

A recent article brought to my attention this report on the pattern of funding experienced by fintech startups in East Africa and India with rather damning results. 90 percent of the capital invested by “Silicon Valley-style” investors went to startups, technically in East Africa, with one or more North American or European founders. These results […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Compétitivité, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Loans, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Risk, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Primer on African Fintech: Myths, Misconceptions, Opportunities, Hotspots and Roadblocks

As we prepare to start work for our third African fintech client, I thought it was time to quickly and briefly introduce the opportunity space and clear up some misunderstandings around fintech in Africa. The first point is the common confusion between Fintech and financial inclusion. Investopedia’s definition of Fintech says financial inclusion, that is, […]

Also posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Alternative currency, Banking, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Kenya, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, UEMOA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Implications of Mobile Money Interoperability in Kenya?

Mobile money pioneer Kenya, has finally gone live this month with account to account interoperability between mobile money services. Neighbouring Tanzania pioneered interoperability between the mobile money services offered by local telcos with a soft launch back in 2014. Fears of cannibalization and zero sum scenarios were unfounded, as documented in an early evaluation report […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Tanzania, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Connectivity, Communication, and Commerce: The 3 Cs of Africa’s Smartphone Led Future

Recent headlines touted the decline in marketshare being seen by smartphones on the African continent, and the concurrent increase in sales of basic devices. Yet a closer look shows that this shift might only be numerical due to the opening of new markets in heavily populated DR Congo and Ethiopia – first time buyers are […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Business, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobiles at the Border Post: Anti-Atlas of Borders Exhibition Slides (Jan 2016)

In January 2016, our submission for the Anti-Atlas of Borders Art Exhibition in Brussels was accepted for a commission of 500e. We were thrilled and surprised since we’d never imagined our work on mobile platforms, technology, and the borderland biashara could be considered from the arts and culture point of view. Here is our story […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Marchés africains, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, Photography, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Systems, Technologie, Technology, Uganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Highlights from Reviewing the African Consumer Market 2014-2017

Recently I was reminded of the cover story in the Africapitalist magazine published back in 2014 on the theme of the true size of the African Consumer market, that is, the hidden and untapped purchasing power embedded in the continent’s vast informal and unrecorded sector. Today I’ll start by reviewing some of the consumer trends, […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Time to acknowledge the social cost of mobile and apps driven disruption

From Lagos, Nigeria comes this moving human interest story that looks at the downside of modern technology and it’s impact on livelihoods. For those who must hustle to make a living, send the kids to school, or put food on the table, smartphone driven digitization of the services they used to provide are disrupting their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 is the Year Mobile Service Operators Became Banks

South African business headlines read MTN takes on Vodacom for title of Africa’s biggest digital bank and usher in a whole new era for banking and finance on the mobile platform. Having watched this space impatiently for more than a decade, seeing this was a landmark worth noting. The number of mobile-money customers in the […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, ASEAN, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Collection, Design, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Savings Groups : Observations on Economic Cooperation and Collaboration in Rural and Informal Conditions

Recently, I was interviewed on communal rural economic behaviour, particularly socially cooperative ones  such as informal savings and lending groups. The questions posed were: How has your opinion of savings group changed over time? Why in your opinion, are people in Africa and Latin America countries (developing countries) predisposed to forming savings groups? What is […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Analysis, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Leave a comment