Tag Archives: cash transactions

Last mile of achieving cashless

By | May 24, 2015

Last weekend I was walking around Kallio district in Helsinki, when I saw these handwritten signs informing passers-by that mobile payments were accepted here. It was an unstructured neighbourhood flea market where people put their own unwanted stuff out for sale. This is the last mile of cashless transactions in Finland. This recent news article… Read More »

Uber’s problems with women’s safety in India – my 2 rupees worth

By | May 23, 2015

In its mindless rush for scale, Uber leapt into the Indian market with their “hassle-free” service of hailing a car with a push of a button on your smartphone. I call this mindless because “will it scale” is an unquestioned imperative for a startup, not something that is thought through. Nobody asks should it scale,… Read More »

‘Mpesa si pesa’ – mobile money’s collision with informal sector’s cash culture

By | April 27, 2015

Ever since mobile money (MM) came along, ‘cashless’ is all the rage in East Africa. Money experts have a sack-full of reasons why mobile money is good for the economy. The truth is, however, making a case for MM is easy – no doubt, but, one perspective that is often left out in almost all… Read More »

Estimating price in unexplored and untapped markets

By | May 4, 2013

In addition to estimating the size and value of the Kenyan cyber cafe industry for our client, Village Telco of Cape Town, South Africa, we were tasked with finding out what would people pay for their product, the Mesh Potato. This challenge was the equivalent of walking up to someone and asking: How much would… Read More »

Why prepaid business models work so well for the rural and informal economy

By | May 2, 2013

We broke down the basic concept of the ‘pay as you go’ or prepaid mobile plan – in general, discounting the details of the various different strategies and pricing/time plans of different countries as a way to begin understanding what is it about this model that makes it work at the BoP. Could we somehow… Read More »

The prepaid economy of Africa

By | April 7, 2013

As the chart shows, Africa’s mobile subscriptions are 96% prepaid or pay as you go. That is, they are not bound by contract to any mobile services provider. A reasonable number have more than one SIM, to take advantage of different operator offers. This demographic cuts across all income, education and professional barriers, its literally… Read More »

Risk is dynamic, not static

By | March 30, 2013

Exhibition Panel – Samsui Woman, National Museum of Singapore, March 2013 And investor, bankers and venture capitalists imagine they are taking risks that deem high interest rates when operating in Sub Saharan Africa. Come now, you do not gamble with your next meal, your risk is static. What every micro entrepreneur, in the informal economy… Read More »

Minimizing risk: buyer behaviour among the BoP confirmed by Nielson

By | September 18, 2012

The South African Shopper Trends report by Nielson highlights some aspects of the township customer’s mindset and buyer behaviour, as demonstrated by the following snippet from this analysis: How we make purchasing decisions We make decisions based on what other people say, as well as how we experience a product. There is a major fear… Read More »

Published! Pathways Out of Poverty by iBoPAsia Project

By | September 1, 2012

Innovating with the BoP in Southeast Asia. The iBoP Asia Project has published the complete set of small grants funding innovation projects for those at the Bottom of the Pyramid in the ASEAN region. One of the first projects to win the Small Grants competition in 2008 was The Prepaid Economy Project: Understanding BoP household… Read More »