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.
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!
Ronda! This is great to spark the discussion – for me a bit part is about security. When a woman goes to a cash distribution it leaves her very vulnerable as everyone can see she has just been given money. Compared to mobile money which is subtle and doesn’t require carrying around large sums. Hope you’re well, Amy
Thank you, Amy! Yes, I think the protection of not being seen receiving money would be so, so helpful, especially in developed countries where people are still not yet up on the mobile money convenience.
I am now also thinking about how wearable technology might help? Abusive partners probably get very angry if they see the abused using the phone for any suspicious purpose… might smartwatches serve as a more discreet way to communicate?