Mobile technology is booming in emerging markets in Africa and Asia (even moreso than here in North America). In terms of demand for usage, they have us beat by sheer necessity. Mobile phones and apps are being used in emerging markets to provide much-needed services and convenience that we take for granted in the West (like access to medicine, money and even condoms that save lives in regions of the world where HIV/Aids is rampant).
Mobile Transactions Zambia (an 18-month old startup specializing in mobile payments) is one of hundreds of new startups seeking to solve basic problems with good, inexpensive technology. But it is the only startup that won “Best Mobile Money Start-Up in Africa” at an award ceremony held in Nigeria by Mobile Money Africa.
Mobile Transactions Zambian wants to make Africa cashless by creating a network of organizations that will be accessible to a mass market via mobile technology (is that all?). To date, they provide money transfers, electronic vouchers for subsidy distribution, supplier payments, microfinance loan disbursements, and salary payments via mobile phones.
In looking at the incredible technology and startups coming out of the emerging markets (especially Africa), I think the next big disrupter in mobile technology will likely be birthed in one of the emerging markets instead of here in America. The playing field is being leveled. It’s anyone’s game now.
Congrats to Mobile Transactions (fierce idea, well-timed)! Below is a short, 8-minute, documentary on how Mobile Transaction’s mobile voucher service (an incentive system) is being used by farmers. Truly inspiring.
Mobile Transactions website: http://www.mtzl.net/
- Omidyar Network and ACCION Invests $3.2 Million In A Zambian Mobile Payments Startup (alltopstartups.com)
- MTN Group increases MTN Mobile Money presence in Zambia (Africa) (wirelessfederation.com)
- Loopt Acquired by Banking and Payment Services Company Green Dot (mobilemarketingwatch.com)
- Why Mobile Commerce Is On The Rise #Infographic (serve4impact.com)
- Thoughts on Mobile Security and Applications (techwag.com)