This post extract suggestions from lecture n. 3 of week 3 and discusses their impact in the context of support to information systems of institutions and organisations in developing countries by not-for-profit international organisations..
This is the fifth post of a series of six posts according to the mid term assignment titled “Digital Portfolio and Written Assignment”.
Slide n. 3 introduces the concept of “branchless banking” through examples of financial services based on mobile phones.
This post deals with the case of “Movercado” project that represents the genesis of mobile banking in Mozambique.
Movercado used SMS messages as vouchers for people in rural areas in need of support for malaria mitigation. Later Movercado expanded to wider population support.
A case study1 was issue by Health Finance and Governance Project Funded by USAid, US governmental agency for aid. I quote the explanation: “The use of vouchers removes a significant cash-flow barrier; the beneficiary accesses the product and the shops are refunded by PSI, increasing business and incentivizing them to actively promote and carry health products (condoms, water purification products, etc.). For the vendors, the voucher transactions are equivalent to regular sales, as they receive the same profit margin as they would from the sale of other commodities”
Movercado project was launched in 2012, it represented the first experience of cash flow through SMS in Mozambique. It has been successful and has been replicated to a long series of similar experiences.
In the beginning there were no support from mobile carriers and providers, Movercado built a SMS independent getaway for connecting mobile carriers to a proprietary SMS management system.
The ability of reaching disperse populations in rural area, despite the limited mobile phone network coverage, is one of the major reasons for the success of the project. It has opened an opportunity for partially solving the cash-flow limits due to a territory with few roads in difficult conditions.
Movercado gave a boost to the low-cost market, gave evidence of micro-market feasibility, gave an opportunity of economic development.
The experiment has awakened the interest of mobile telephony companies on the national market, has created a synergy between communication companies and banks, has finally opened a new market of mobile banking.
Now two of the major mobile phone companies offer services of mobile banking.
Vodacom company offers the service called “M-Pesa”2 that allows to deposit cash, transfer money, get cash, buy credit, buy electricity, buy Internet packages, pay multiple services like TV, water, purchases at any commercial establishment, check balance, etc..
Mcel company offers the service called “mKesh”3 that allows to send money to other accounts, get cash, deposit money, buy credit view account balance, transaction details, pay the purchases and expenses in authorized establishments, receive the salary, etc..
A non-profit-making project developed an Information System that has been a seed for developing a series of economic projects, apparently a situation in which everybody is taking advantage.
An advantage of developing information systems from a perspective different than profit making is that the analysis of the territory, the actors involved, the landscape, has the possibility to be more accurate because of the active participation and collaboration of all actors.
1) HFG, 2014, Case study 14: Movercado.
2) website: https://vm.co.mz/M-Pesa2