After having written a few posts that have given me some comments that I’m biased towards India and trying to think negative, I’m now back with a post that I think is more about hope or possibilities.
The background for this post is an article I read in The Economist about mobile money. Ok. Fine. I agree that this article is mostly about what’s happening in Kenya and not about India. But I think that what is written in the article is really interesting and also highly relevant for India. India is off course a vast country, and at the countryside the availability of banks and ATM’s are probably not that great. I’m not biased now am I? Just trying to tell the fact. And off course India have a huge young population that lives and works in the cities. If I’m correct, a lot of them send money home to their families in the villages. Honestly, I don’t know how this most often happen. Most probably they don’t take a lot of cash with them when they go home. Do they use banks? I know that for example Filipinos living in Norway uses companies like Western Union, but I haven’t seen many Western Union offices in rural areas of India.
Why not use your mobile phone instead? Most people in cities in India today have a cell phone, or maybe even more than one. And probably most people at the countryside also. Using this to transfer money sounds like a fantastic idea to me!
According to Wikipedia there are a few of such initiatives in India already. One of them is actually a something that seems like a joint venture between the phone company I use in India and the bank I use there. This is cool! I would absolutely like to apply for this! There seems to be at least one Indian company that provides a solution for this, money-on-mobile. But when I log into their home page and try to download the application, I only get a message saying Coming Soon………. Can anyone please update me on when that will happen?
Is this something that can be developed by some IT-companies together with NGO’s? India do have some of the most brilliant IT-companies in the world. Can and will they take a lead here? Or is this a potential market for some startups?
Talk to you soon!