TELEMEDIA VIEWPOINT DCB and carrier commerce save the world


specific sector of direct carrier billing
is globally in over 120 countries it’s a 12 to 14 billion dollar aggregate sector
of telco carrier Commerce and forecast to grow to the neighbourhood of 22 to 24
billion in the next three to five years it’s sizable and it’s involved even by
the marquee players of likes of Apple and Google and others and they quite
frankly have been very helpful in helping the direct carrier billing
industry of which there’s almost three dozen suppliers around the world
introduce the service in other parts of the world. So there you have Direct Carrier Billing then you also have carrier mobile money which has become a
multi-billion dollar sector of telco carrier commerce as well also with
nearly a hundred countries everyone knows about premium SMS and it’s had its
issues in certain Florida markets, RCS is coming and they’ll be premium flavors
with them as well and there are other forms of carrier commerce that are
coming into focus for instance in India you have payment
banks that were authorized by the reserve the RBI the Reserve Bank of
India and it’s been around for about three years now they’ve somewhat
underperformed and there’s debate about whether restrictions by the RBI may be
holding them back for being financially viable see how that plays out over time
in fourth quarter of 18 the CBN Central Bank of Nigeria embarked on a similar
kind of initiative with payment services banks and in India were 41 applicants
for payment banks 11 were approved eventually 6 of those 11 later to market
three of those six are operated by telcos in Nigeria with the payment
services bank there have been news that the first mover of all the
telcos so that later this year in 2019 we’ll see the emergence of telcos
operating payment services banks in Nigeria. So Nigeria and India two of the
biggest population countries in the world with significant unbanked
populations again telcos are center stage in terms of having a potential
impact. So the telco industry’s role as an essence a quiet giant does not seem
to have the visibility not unusual coming from telco land legacy
ventures said thinking in the industry is understandably fundamentally
communication centric but there is an increasing realization that the billing
side the assets and the core competencies are also another set of crown jewels for
the industry and increasingly you’re seeing a likes of orange Telenor MTN
SingTel etc that are embarking on significant mobile financial services
strategies those are the front-runners but there are dozens of companies so telco
companies that are getting into MFS, DFS, mobile financial services, digital
financial services you have also in the aggregate environment foundations
bilaterals multilateral private donors that have been granting in the
neighborhood of 35 to 40 billion dollars annually growing at 20 to 30 percent
plus since 2011 grants to the Financial Inclusion space so it’s an indication of
the seriousness of the commitment to make Financial Inclusion happen to
onboard as many of the unbanked which has declined now to about 1.7 billion it
was closer to upper nearly three billion over a decade ago some great progress is
being made but it has been slowing down the first newsworthy item that came
to our attention was in the second of the first quarter second month the first
quarter of 2016 when news came out of Uganda a literal economic chaos why did
that happen it turned out that the Ugandan
Communications Commission abruptly ordered the disabling of all mobile
money platforms before and during national elections this report said that
the reason for this decision was that they were concerns about vote Buying
Fraud when Finnclude first saw this we thought maybe there’s an opportunity for us
to make this not happen again if we could find has anybody seen this before
so we put an alert out to our membership which at the time was about 50 globally
saying had anybody seen anything like this before that you had what was done
now the assumption was maybe there’s some argumentation out there that you
can go back to the government and said come on you know need to shut down the
mobile money platforms but interestingly one of our members came back and he was
a head of mobile money operations with telco in Bangladesh and he said in his
country his government has the same concerns they were legit in certain
markets so our bias was that there’s different environmental factors and
sometimes these are genuine problems that need to be addressed and
fortunately in Bangladesh there was a well thought-out process on the
communications front that involved pre-planning how do we get the word out
when we need to have a planned outage that we don’t have this kind of a
consequence of economic chaos and a plan was devised in Bangladesh with the
government with the telcos and other interested stakeholders to be sure that
advance planning was communicated adequately so that desired parties
throughout the society citizens businesses etc we’re ready for the
planned outage plus the government was satisfied with its ability to minimize
the problems with potential vote buying fraud so they in essence shut
down their platforms in Bangladesh during elections but no disruptions
everybody’s happy they’re ready for it vote buying fraud is minimised minimized no
problems and they were willing to share that success knowledge so we took a half
step it was a half step in validating our proof-of-concept back and then we
reached out to the UCC as well as the then 5 Ugandan telcos that were
operating mobile money to make them aware we were new on the scene entity
nonprofit industry association knowledge community peer learning kind of an
entity willing to share this knowledge for free without obligation because
we’re advocates for the industry only want us to be better at what we do
globally to help that continued advancing the underlying goal of Financial
Inclusion advancing it and sustaining that advance. Now initially we didn’t
hear back from them but in late 2018 we circled back there’s some new leaders is
at the UCC and we’ve engaged one of their board members right now moving the
proof of concept a bit further in the fourth quarter of 2018 there was news
out of Rwanda that the UN High Commission on refugees was planning to
embark on a project with partners including telcos to try to bring digital
financial services to refugees in Rwanda with Finnclude ongoing daily consumption
with the monitoring of industry developments Finnclude has been able to
identify that there’s you know depending on how you parse it but in our informal
tracking approach there’s over 100 forms of mobile financial services right grab
crowdfunding sponsored by telcos Telcos are getting involved in mobile
money called use cases that impact agriculture education healthcare
alternative energy so as you parse it and in those nuanced levels of detail
there’s success knowledge that’s growing in sophistication by the day
that we know of and where it is and we keep track of
what the best extent we can who’s involved with that so we could
conceivably reach out to them if we see someone else is trying that but they’re
struggling so in the case of the UN High Commission we reached out to them and
said you know we are aware that earlier in 2018 another telco was involved with
an undertaking and bringing both distribution of payments using financial
services to refugees in Uganda would you be interested in us helping facilitate
getting you some of those insights from that undertaking and they were very
thankful that we reached out to them and welcomed any insights that could help
them with their planning efforts so that was provided to both the UN High Council
refugee as well as partners and they’re in the process of working through that
and we on a continual basis when we see things whether it’s related to telco
Financial Inclusion that could be digital identity as it may pertain to
you know regulatory concerns and hurdles for any money laundering and kyc when we
see that kind of relevant information that might pertain to the work that
they’re doing we’ll pass it along no obligation at plus with the request that
we welcomed their feedback because of our models a work in progress

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *