Category Archives: Expenses

Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

By | January 28, 2018

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 2nd part will focus on fuel usage and consumption… Read More »

Analysis of the mobile phone’s impact on cash flows and transactions in the informal sector

By | October 21, 2016

As we saw, Mrs Chimphamba needs to juggle time and money as part of her household financial management in order to ensure that expenses can be met by income. We also saw that the mobile phone was made viable and feasible by the availability of the prepaid business model that gave her full control over… Read More »

The hidden cost of doing business #informaleconomy

By | February 4, 2016

This looks like its a low cost business operation with low barriers to entry. All you need to do is find a decent tree under which to display your wares. The reality is that these entrepreneurs have numerous fees and costs that they must pay in order to do business, regardless of how informal it… Read More »

First world trends: Financial inclusion, the unbanked, and the prepaid business model

By | September 15, 2015

The Economist explains just how expensive banking can be for the lower income population, even in the United States. Financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked must include cost/benefit analysis based on the limitations of income streams of those whom they hope to serve. The cost of ownership is often overlooked in current day literature,… Read More »

Welcome to the new home of The Prepaid Economy blog

By | December 26, 2014

  Instead of two separate locations, all my research, fieldwork, analysis and synthesis as well as news snippets covering all aspects of The Prepaid Economy project, systeme D, the informal and rural cash based markets of the developing world will now be available here together with the original Perspective blog. The Research category will pull… Read More »

Analysing shifts in consumer household purchasing patterns – Milk ATMs in Kenya

By | May 20, 2014

“We are selling one litre at Sh65, but a consumer can get as little as 77ml at a cost of Sh5. All one needs to do is key in the amount they require, and the product is dispensed,” Gitonga, who procures his machines from Italy, said. Flexibility is the key to survival, indeed. This quote… Read More »

Part 1: Why are we publishing our original research on rural economic behaviour in 5 parts online?

By | October 29, 2013

A recent article in The Economist on the economic value of owning cattle in rural India made me to realize just how little is understood about the rural economy.  Here’s a snippet: That is because most people find spending easier than saving. Immediate pleasures are easier to grasp than future joys—and so people make spending… Read More »

Exploratory User Research in the Rural Economy

By | October 25, 2013

When I first began developing the attributes by which to select representative user profiles for the original fieldwork to begin understanding the “prepaid economy”, that is, household financial management in rural India, The Philippines and Malawi, it was based on people’s ability to plan and budget. One can plan best when one is certain of… Read More »

Affordability is not the same as a lower price point

By | August 4, 2013

Third party informal kerosene sales point deep interior of rural Eastern Kenya. Photo credit: Niti Bhan Absolute price of a product has always been assumed to be the means to successfully reach the BoP customer and the concept of affordable is often a synonym for cheaper. While price bands do matter when targeting this market,… 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 »