What it will take to win mobile payments in Africa

Apple has made known its planned assault on global payment juggernauts, with first in line being PayPal, a player active in 203 markets, in 26 countries and 152 million registered users. Some pundits have argued that Apple has all the makings of a true disruptor. With over $ 160 billion in cash reserves and liquid instruments and over 500 million devices out in the wild, this might be true, but the real opportunity still lies in emerging markets where economies are mulling over the move to cash lite ecosystems. This is where the Apple story and that of many other Silicon Valley based payment companies gets a damper, an almost zero presence in the markets where mobile money with its peer to peer origins has shown great potential. Continue reading What it will take to win mobile payments in Africa

A change in strategy way past due for online classifieds in Kenya

Who will own the classifieds space in East Africa was the title of a piece penned back in 2011 when there was a flurry of activity with everyone claiming to be the number one destination. The way things change, the way they remain the same and with blatant replication of business models with no drive for service differentiation, a number of players have hit the dead pool but this has not stopped others – whether from a skin change or as entirely new entities, from attempting to draw blood  cash from what is proving to be a most difficult segment to crack. Continue reading A change in strategy way past due for online classifieds in Kenya

The 1 thing you must do right on mobile

Three days to the much anticipated Saba Saba date (7th July 2014) millions of mobile consumers received a message from the Inter Religious Council of Kenya approved by the Communications Authority. The lash back on social media was expected but in my opinion misdirected as most of the “feedback” was laced with emotion due to the historical and current sensitivities surrounding the date. It does however offer the opportunity to dissect best practice when it comes to the mobile channel with education to consumers, businesses and even government as an imperative. Life is indeed mobile, with the device having become part of our daily lives. For any intrusion into this life to be tolerated; it must be anticipated and approved making consumer onboarding the most important element of any mobile strategy. Continue reading The 1 thing you must do right on mobile

Tooling technology for SME’s

Small and Medium sized enterprises the world over are backbone of the economy yet many times have the odds stacked against them on many fronts. Big enterprises often have a technology arsenal at their disposal whether playing in agriculture, manufacturing and even services. In this arsenal you will find Enterprise Resource Planning platforms, Customer Relationship Management portals among others, unique to the industry. The total cost of ownership has been very prohibitive in the past with vendors such as Oracle, Sales Force and SAP creaming the market on deployment and annual license fees. Continue reading Tooling technology for SME’s

A primer to mobile value added services in Kenya

An addressable market of over 30 million is sure to attract the attention of many entrepreneurs, and indeed it has. The mobile value added service industry in Kenya generates billions in gross revenue annually, making bank for mobile operators, licensed providers and third parties who leverage connectivity infrastructure offered by the providers.

The nature of the business model is revenue share, meaning on any given transaction revenues are split either two or three ways with a bulk of the revenue for many services going the operator’s way based on the cascading volume model adopted.   Continue reading A primer to mobile value added services in Kenya

The mobile ecosystem gravy train

Without a doubt the most awaited corporate report this month was that of local mobile operator Safaricom, and the results did not disappoint and pointed to the evolving and cash rich ecosystem that is mobile.The factors that lead and will continue to lead bottom-line growth for those invested in one way or another in mobile are in plain sight for the discerning. Continue reading The mobile ecosystem gravy train