Neat story, Jenn. Makes a lot of sense. I wonder, though, if this ease of doing business might not lead at some point to over-spending. It took consumers a long time to realize credit cards create debt. But if the people using this system have a history of being economically challenged, they probably have better spending habits that their Western counterparts.
Yeah Jennifer, interesting things have been happening in the last few years in Kenya, Nairobi is fronting for software technology. Similar development on the ascendance in Ghana, where many tech firms are focusing in software development - with more attentions channeling towards software enterpreneurship ( mobile applications).
This is true but it might also create a kid in the candy store mindset. You're disciplined but want to just 'try things out'. Then that could lead to a slippery slope. I can only imagine that us Western counterparts weren't always this irresponsible financially. It had to start somewhere...
@pocharle: What you have said is applicable to the developed economies. Where people have the buying power to try new things and then can adjust to its financial implications.
What I think is that consumers in the developing countries are already finding it extremely difficult make ends meet. Hence, they know exactly what to buy and in what quantities. Unfortunately, they follow a strict buying schedule unlike our buying habits.
I agree with you on the fact that it posess a threat to the consumers. But then again my experience of mobile payments in developing countries says that these people will perform only the necessary transactions like say buying grocery etc.
Jenn, Developing economies use technology in ways that are often quite unusual to the Western observer. They've had to develop alternatives to systems that aren't serving them. Wireless communications caught established landline phone providers by surprise and liberated the citizens in countries like Kenya. Today, you can go out in places like Kenya and get a mobile phone within a few minutes whereas in the past it could take years to get a landline.
They use mobile money because the banking system too is stuck in the past. In most places in Africa, banks haven't learned the customer is king. Now they will.
syedzunair i agree with you in reference to the 2nd paragraph of your comment. There is absolute difference in buying culture of developing and developed nations. Are we beginning to see paradigm shift in they way westerners and developing economies consuming technologies?
I am pleasantly surprise that such a service started in Kenya first than it has started in India. Airtel, one of the largest mobile service provider in India, is offering such a service in India. I am not sure how successful they have been as i think they have started this service only recently (if i go by the ad campaign they are running). The success may or maynot be as huge as that of Kenya due to different geographic, economic and political situation but one thing is sure that the mobile phone is not for talking and sending messages anymore.
Either the banking system in the developing countries is stuck in the past or is not present in the rural areas. Therefore, a suitable alternate was required for the masses. I think mobile payments got adopted early because even in the rural areas the cellphone penetration is exceedingly high.
Banks cannot sustain the infrastructure and the running costs associated with opening branches in rural areas. Hence, another common thing you will see in the developing countries is mobile banking units. It could be just a grocery store but on the back end it functions like a bank.
Are we beginning to see paradigm shift in they way westerners and developing economies consuming technologies?
I am not sure about the paradigm shift Wale. But I am certain that necessity is the mother of invention. In the developing countries people often have to adopt to technology/innovation to cater their needs for example banking in this case.
Since, they do not have a lot options they tend to adopt to the ones' that are available.
The aggressive adoption of technologies ( mobile payment, e-payment, cashless transactions) in Africa for instance is gearing towards financial sectors. This due to failure of governments in providing ICT infrastructure which could aid delivery of technologies like ADSL, fiber and other. Those pose far great challenge which, now open door for quick adoption of an alternative schemes like Wimax, Satellite, 3G/4G.
I think, there are encouraging developments from Africa, though.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.