Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mobile Money, A Revolution In The Making

Mobile Money Technology has quickly revolutionised the way customers pay their bills and companies manage their payroll, from Cambodia to Kenya. Already millions of people in developing countries who do not have access to a bank account are using mobile phone banking services to convert cash into credits on their cell phones to make safe and easy payments.
A fast rising star on the Mobile Money Technology firmament is WING Cambodia, one of the newest mobile payment services in the world. Cambodia has a population of 14 million, of which only half a million have a bank account, while there are over 3 million mobile phone subscriptions. WING Cambodia operates there in a joint venture with ANZ Bank.
Says Brad Jones, WING Cambodia MD: "Urban to rural corridors are essential to us. We started out targeting Cambodia's 350 000 garment industry workers in 300 or so factories, focusing on a simple payroll product." The global financial crisis has certainly been felt in the garment industry, with 70-80,000 jobs lost. "We are still working in the garment sector," says Jones, "but we have also shifted our focus slightly towards providing payroll services to relatively recession-proof industries such as NGO and some corporate clients."
On the consumer side, the clients are mainly blue collar urban workers who send money to family members in rural areas. Says Jones: "We also use a debit card - particularly valued by our urban customers - that allows customers to withdraw cash from ANZ Royal ATMs in Cambodia. These cards help to improve much of the merchants' liquidity problems and, with no fees to merchants; this enables them to turn money over quicker."

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