Wow, so in a post I wrote last month, I asked what possible synergies exist between mobile money services and the increasing attention being paid to women’s ability to use mobile phones for their betterment:

“Right now, I am thinking of the ability to use a mobile money service to support women and men who experience domestic violence and must leave their homes in a rush with little or nothing in order to escape their abusers. Often, these people have limited finances because of the control exerted by their partners. If domestic violence support organizations could help them access funding support quickly, it could mean help for men and women would be within reach much faster. Efforts could even be led by domestic violence survivors as a sort of crowdfunding response.”

It appears that someone heard my ruminations [or more likely had the idea long before I did 🙂 ] and now we have Safe Night!

Safe Night

 

Safe Night is an app in the US that uses a crowdfunding mechanism to help place victims of domestic violence in hotel rooms when other free shelters are unavailable. The app helps to meet a real need, according to this blog post on LinkedIn: “Last year there were 6,818 requests for shelter from domestic violence victims that went unmet by domestic violence service organizations on a single day in 2012.”

This is a fantastic example of what can be done when people really concentrate on using mobile technology in sensible, sustainable ways to support people, and especially women.

What other innovations do you know exist?

It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, I wrote an Insider report for Pyramid Research discussing the potential to create vertical synergy by positioning mobile money as a horizontal market enabler with much to offer industries as diverse as education, insurance and agriculture.

Source: BizTech Africa

Source: BizTech Africa

Now with MTN Cameroon’s launch of a service that enables university students to pay their fees via mobile money, I’m growing more hopeful that my prediction is starting to be realized.

But what possible synergies might exist for mobile money services and the still nascent area of mobile women, or mWomen?

We already know that, particularly in developing countries, mobile money services have been used by women’s groups to collectively pool and save money. We also know that women have become mobile money agents, creating businesses that help them further their contributions to their communities. But what else can be done?

Right now, I am thinking of the ability to use a mobile money service to support women and men who experience domestic violence and must leave their homes in a rush with little or nothing in order to escape their abusers. Often, these people have limited finances because of the control exerted by their partners. If domestic violence support organizations could help them access funding support quickly, it could mean help for men and women would be within reach much faster. Efforts could even be led by domestic violence survivors as a sort of crowdfunding response.

What else can you think of? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section. I will update this entry as I have other thoughts and ideas!