Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid–Add your voice

In this interview Carol Realini, co-author of 'Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid’ tells how they use an innovative crowd-sourced solution to provide a deeper understanding of innovative financial services that are emerging to address the needs of unbanked and under-banked people around the world.

Q: Carol, could you let us know a bit about your new book – what’s it about?

fipKarl and I are fortunate to have been involved in financial inclusion projects around the world. We wanted to share how we see things changing, new models emerging and most importantly how this is happening differently in different places.

We thought it important that we provide a global view rather than focusing one market or one aspect – such as just Square or just Mobile POS, or just the USA.

We’re show-casing the best examples of tech-enabled financial inclusion from around the world.

Q: I’m interested in the way you are sourcing material – in a manner that is still pretty unique

Yes, although we have ourselves been in many of the countries where the new services are rapidly growing, we did not want to be limited in our thinking. By throwing the book open to contributions from around the world we expect to cover more ground and discover some of the breaking stories that will help create a good understanding of the state of play.

Q: Carol, how do you and Karl expect to make a difference with this book?

We believe the next 5 years will be a period of unprecedented change. Another 3 billion or more people will have access to the internet via mobile. Financial services will reach 1-2 billion more people in a similar timeframe. We want this book to help inspire people to understand more. We want the book to help people share about what they’ve achieved so we jointly celebrate their success and contemplate potential pitfalls together.

Q: How do people contribute to this initiative?

We have a campaign on for nominations for Global Financial Inclusion Pioneers. We would love to have more Europe and Africa nominations – we have extended the deadline to Dec 31, 2013. Full details are available at the Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid website. We’d like people to visit and nominate as well as submit their stories. This will help us showcase the best examples from across the world.

 

Carol Full AvatarCarol Realini is a successful serial entrepreneur who  dedicates her time to working with global pioneers in mobile banking & payments. Carol was a World Economic Forum 2010 Technology Pioneer.  Carol passionately supports entrepreneurship, banking for all, and women in technology. She is the author of the 5-Star-on-Amazon BankRUPT, a book about banking innovation in the US, and co-author of Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid.

 

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Malala’s vision for Pakistan and Digital Money

Did you watch the amazing speech of Malala Yousafzai addressing the United Nations on July 12, 2013 as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child? It is up to us to move from platitudes to action in realising her vision. How can Digital Money help?

 

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Get inside your competitor’s head with the Shift Thought Digital Money SAGE

 

Although mobiles and smartphones present an exciting new dimension for consumer payments, the Shift Thought Digital Money SAGE offers payments providers a panoramic view, so as to prepare for the eventual growth that is essential for building alternative payments services.

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European privacy action–what effect on the Google wallet business model?

Pressure mounts on Google, with the ICO (in concert with 27 data protection authorities across Europe) yesterday issuing their notice. How does this impact Google’s fundamental business model in payments, and what possible knock-on effects may we expect on new entrants with digital wallets based on similar models?

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Steep rise in online commerce and non-card payments causes rethink in UK, France

BRC’s Retail Cost of Payment Collection Survey for 2012 released in May 2013 indicates that PayPal and coupons have increased to a level that now requires separate reporting. This accounts to over 5% of transactions in 2012, as compared to 1.66% the previous year. There has been a steady change in the proportion of sales transactions by each payment method as shown in our graph based on BRC data.

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Apple iCloud Keychain – Digital Money services take to the cloud

Soon after May 2011, when there were a flurry of digital wallet announcements, such as Google Wallet, V.Me, Amex Serve and more, Shift Thought provided analysis to show how these fitted into the trend that we predicted, and continue to rigorously track since then.

This is a move from a mobile-centric approach to a convergent, if not integrated set of offers that become a powerful foundation for a closer relationship with your customers.

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In June 2013, the Apple iCloud Keychain serves to once again underline this trend. By hosting key details on the cloud and offering single access across a host of devices, payment services from Apple seem to be in the mould of one of the “personas” in the Digital Money SAGE framework that describes wallets of the future.

The Google Wallet has already moved forward on this path. By merging with the Google Checkout and later rebranding to a single service, Google has instantaneously opened the doors to a powerful way of engaging with 7 billion people around the world. This of course is the power of adopting a strategy that recognises Digital Money in all its guises.

Shift Thought will be running a workshop on Digital Money at the PayExpo 2013 on the 18th of June in London, UK. We intend to run through the timeline of Digital Money, with special case studies to underline the trends, risks, challenges and the level of competition.

We hope this will give you concise round-up on what is happening, and the new axis on which services differentiate themselves across the world today.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Transitioning from social to e-commerce: not everyone makes it across

In a world where scale matters and players must continually reinvent themselves, it saddens us to see that not all make it through the metamorphosis.

Multiply Marketplace was a social networking service that first started in 2004 and built  a 11-million strong community around blogging, photo sharing, videos and more.

In 2012 they moved their base from Florida, USA to Indonesia. The task at hand was to offer e-commerce services to the 350 million strong market in Philippines and Indonesia, while also discontinuing their blog services.

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What impact will Digital Money have on employment?

The chief executive of Barclays, suggested during investor meetings that Barclays aims to become a self-oriented company, allowing staff to focus on added value. Antony Jenkins envisages a future in which the bank employs as few as 100,000 people (current strength ~140,000).  

While this is being positioned as blue-sky thinking rather than a statement of potential job cuts, it got me thinking about how the advent of Digital Money is likely to impact what is closest to our hearts at Shift Thought, namely the creation of jobs world-wide.

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The case of Liberty Reserve – Identifying “The weakest link” in Digital Money Services

The news on the shutdown of Liberty Reserve money transfer raises concerns for the potential knock on impact on legitimate users – of that service, and of new ones like it, that are springing up around the world. What then is the most effective way in which this kind of use of digital money can be segregated from the daily transformative use of Digital Money as a tool for financial inclusion?

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