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Tracking Mobile Banking Innovation – I

August 10, 2015 - Surti

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On one side, a premium tablet, a transit app, an enterprise mobility management solution and a wearable phone/locator for kids. On the other, a cellular base station-powered vaccine cold chain, a global mobile education platform, and a mobile money transfer service.
All winners at the Global Mobile Awards 2014, manifesting the dual trajectory of mobility’s evolution in the developed and developing markets, and without question showcasing the virtuosity of mobility to address needs, from the experiential to the existential, right across the pyramid.
So, going forward who will set the course and the pace for mobile innovations – the advanced or the emerging markets? I don’t think it’s even possible to answer that question unequivocally. Instead, let’s examine the current state of mobile innovations from the point of view of banking.
Emerging markets are definitely winning the numbers game, for now. Going by recent reports, developing countries do seem to be taking the lead in promoting non-cash payments. Countries like China, which already boasts a considerably mature payments market with established players like China UnionPay and Alipay, definitely have the potential to surpass non-cash leaders in developed markets. But if current predictions are any indication, the epicenter of the payments market may well shift to developing countries by 2021 when they are expected to account for at least half of the global non-cash market.
The emerging world is the scene for innovation action. According to the latest issue of the annual Innovation in Retail Banking report from EFMA & Infosys, though innovation in banking is emerging as a global priority, countries in emerging markets like Turkey, Poland and Malaysia seem to have a slight edge over their peers in developed markets.
Emerging market companies are also rounding off their focus on organic innovation by building partnerships with companies in developed markets to further strengthen their innovation capabilities. For instance, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company has made an investment of US$ 445 million in German e-commerce incubator Rocket Internet to jointly develop online and mobile payment solutions for developing markets. The stated objective of the partnership is to also eventually roll out their payment innovations across all markets, emerging and developed.
Which neatly sets up my next point that what works for the developing can also work for the developed.
See you on the other side.

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