Mobile Money Transfer

To start with innovation is the ability to create something new. Contrary to popular belief innovation is not only preserved for genius individuals or those people with an extraordinary brain capacity. In fact, innovation can be done by any individuals provided they are equipped with enough knowledge regarding a particular field or their efforts are focused on achieving a particular goal. However to achieve this particular goal one needs not only the knowledge pertaining to that particular field but also requires some guiding principles that narrow the otherwise very wide field. These principles are referred to as innovation principles. (Rodman 2004). They are responsible for providing a framework of which individuals follow to come up with new illustrations or technologies that aid in the current day processes. For the purposes of this research paper being a technologically oriented paper, the principle will particularly be discussed in regard to the technological field.

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Experience

Experience of the situation prevailing in a given setting is an essential thing in building up an innovation. Experience acquaints one with the situation and equips an individual with the necessary knowledge on what lacks for a particular process to take palace. Besides this experience opens one’s mind and one is able to think broadly as situations as said are teachers, one is taught not only to appreciate the situations as they are but is also equipped to seek solutions to those which need to be fixed in the current situation. (Rodman 2004)On Mobile Money Transfer before an individual realizes the need for such technology one will need to have experienced the situation where no monetary transactions take place. Either being a result of poverty or the orientation of banks and other financial institutions to the cities or urban centers. Such was the experience for those behind the technology.

Simplicity

Simplicity is the other vital principle as far as innovation is concerned. Most innovators in the world after experiencing certain situations start with simple ideas to create a solution of what ails the people in a given setting. Simplicity involves individuals exploring alternatives or options by use of that which already exists. Complexity which is the opposite of simplicity will require individuals to climb the innovation ladder from the topmost which at the end of the day will not bear any fruits.(Rodman 2004). Simplicity is the opposite as it requires an individual to climb the innovation tree from the bottom. From the bottom means exploring for solutions within what already exists in the particular setting exhausting fully the applicability of what may exist in pursuit of a solution.

Concern

As most innovations will be aimed at helping people achieve certain things, or do certain things not possible in the past, or give alternatives then it is just as important to consider how these individuals will feel after a way to bridge their current situation is found. This helps to tailor or concentrate once idea on what relay meets the people’s needs this again will narrow the scope, besides this principle would help guarantee acceptance at the later stages of innovation.

Baby steps

Baby steps is an innovation principle that requires individuals or innovators for that matter to only progress to the next stage after the first stage is done. Innovation is a process that requires careful consideration and multiple evaluations. It is not possible to meet these considerations or requirements if one takes great strides or tries to make huge trials at ago. Thus what this principle tries to outline is that the innovation process should be gradual and those involved should take a step at a time. This eliminates confusion and builds on certainty and precision.

Idea

The idea is mostly just taken as a thought which most people let pass. An idea can be considered as a principle but more importantly, the ability to synthesize ideas is the principle. Ideas may be own or borrowed but that who implements the idea or transforms the idea into some action is the innovator. This way it is more precise to actually say that the ability to transform the idea may represent the principle other than the idea itself.

Time

Time is another principle of innovation. Time is what creates the need and what avails the need to have a particular need or problem met. As individuals think of certain things that need to be addressed in the social settings they exist they come up with ideas that at the beginning may seem inadequate or which may lack the appeal or content to actually bridge what they want to achieve. (Rodman 2004). Given time they build on this initial idea and in the long run they have what at some point seemed a “shell idea” becomes a piece of innovation. This is the consideration behind having time as a principle of innovation.

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Living life at the intersection

Most innovations are borne by living life at the intersection. These intersections are feasibility, viability, and desirability. Once desire is essential in innovating anything in this world, desires create that inner force that pushes an individual daily to act on some problem with the aim of getting some solution.(Griffin 2010). Besides desire there is feasibility creating an innovation not feasible in the society would miss the point completely thus need to come up with a feasible solution is the other component of this intersection. Finally, there is a need to come up with something that continues the process, or that helps ease life by eliminating a certain problem or bridging a certain gap. At that point where these components meet that here innovation is borne.

Conversion of problems into ideas

His involves creating thoughts out of the current hardships. The process of innovation owes the problems which exist before it.

Innovation requires a system

This may be intentionally designed by an individual an organization or may exist naturally which qualifies them as informal.

Passion

The desire to deliver is another principle. As ideas do not ride on their own nor are they mobile thus they need a force to drive them up to the point where they yield a valuable asset or what is referred to as an innovation in the long run.

Unity

This is the ability of individuals to form to get errand to create. In cases of group innovations, there is a need for greater unity. Unity may act as the force that brings individuals together and the force that keeps them together. Unity widens the knowledge base as individuals share ideas and develop new ones. Unity also brings about the aspect of criticism which is also essential in the process of innovation.

Leveraging of differences

Differences that exist amongst people which include social status, language, or racial aspects should be used to bring in diversity and create appreciation to enhance ideas and create largely acceptable ideas.

Mobile Money Transfer

M-PESA-Kenya

M-PESA is a mobile money transfer service available in Kenya and was launched in the year 2007 by the country’s leading mobile phone operator Safaricom. Safaricom is part of the communications firm Vodafone but the Kenyan government has a substantial amount of shares in the company. (Solin 2008). The M-PESA service has four main mobile money transfer functions all of which are integrated with the SIM tool kit. These money transfer functions are:

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Purchasing of air time

Mobile money transfers to individuals; this involves sending a total of up to Ksh 35,000($500). The transfer also allows sending of money to businesses from individuals’ phones or business-to-business transactions.

The Tool kit also allows withdrawals through established Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) operated by the local banks in the country.

Besides these major transactions, the handset owner can also perform such simple transactions as balance inquiry or change the withdrawal code at will.

The service is subject to the Central bank regulations though the regulatory framework is different from that served by the banks operating in the country. Besides the government regulations, the communications company (Safaricom) oversees all the operations of the M-PESA agents who are charged with the responsibility of discharging and depositing cash into the individual’s accounts. (Solin 2008).

Under M-PESA the individual’s mobile phone number is used as the account number and the account holder is given a PIN number to secure the account and ensure the privacy of the account.

With M-PESA the money is pooled to a single bank account which is held in trust by Safaricom. Administrations screens are used to show the status of the cash as they reflect the actual flow of the money on a real-time basis.

M-paisa –Afghanistan

M-Paisa is a mobile money transfer in Afghanistan ran by the leading mobile phone communications firm Roshan in collaboration with Vodafone. The model is similar to that of M-PESA with the applications being fitted in the SIM tool kit as well.

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This allows the following transactions

Transfer of money from an individual’s account to another individual.

Transfer of money from an individual’s account to a banks account, the reverse which is receipt of money from a bank account to an individual’s handset.

The M Paisa uses voice recognition technology unlike the M-PESA in Kenya which uses the Short Messaging Services.

M paisa is more an intermediary with no direct control of funds as the circulating funds are either bank disbursements or loan repayments by individuals. This represents a different system from the Kenyan one where Safaricom holds the entire circulating Cash in trust.

Philippines

This represents the initial Mobile Money transfer market in the world. Philippines example is the most stable having used the technology for about ten years now. The MMT service is operated by Smart Communications under its Smart Money platform.

The Philippines example has utilized the handset to the maximum, the phone numbers are used as the account numbers which individuals use to send or receive money. (Morrison 2008). With the Philippines system, it is possible to send money from abroad representing a very developed system.

The system has also developed collaborations with the local banks and this has further been boosted through the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines. Transactions that are possible in the Philippines are:

  • Depositing cash in one account is a role earlier reserved to banks.

Sending of money among individuals either locally or abroad, is possible if the individuals operate within the same network or have agreements with the sender’s network.

Settlement of bills and loans which may be granted by different lending authorities within the country, bills include utility bills.

Employers also utilize the MMT services for salary administration purposes. In the Philippines, the MMT utilizes SMS to carry out transactions.

These MMT services have brought about confound advantages to the various users as they bring with them, convenience, flexibility, and security. (Morrison 2008). These three are common to all users of MMT irrespective of the country where the service is provided.

Experience

The three examples discussed above are derived from developing countries in Africa and Asia. Most of these countries have undeveloped banking systems and the experience of Vodafone officials who are responsible for the two MMT services is M Paisa and M-PESA of these situations must have led to the innovation of the transfer services. The situation was no different with Smart communications in the Philippines as the experience with the un-banked society drove the parties to seek a way t help these individuals have a safe money handling system.(Griffin 2010).

Simplicity

Simplicity is found in the services control of the restricted individual level of transaction and the need to have simple outlets to serve as banks for remittance and withdrawal points. This represents the growing economy and the status of individuals.

Concern

The genuine concern of the Mobile operators on the security of the unbanked as they remained with their cash stored into homes may have been a driving force in coming up with the MMT services.

Baby steps

Coming up with a system as marginal as M-PESA, M Paisa or Smart money platform would require individuals to have a progressive plan tackling each f the phases. This may include the determination of what will act as the account, how to secure the system, and many other technicalities which may not be termed as a single innovation. It is these small steps that finally result in the greater innovative idea of a fully grown MMT.

Idea

To come up with the MMT service someone must have had an idea which they strived to make practical.

Time

The whole idea of MMT did not materialize within a day but the initial idea had to be developed day by day and new ideas had to be incorporated. In fact, time accords the perfection of innovation as it progresses we see that continuous improvements continue to develop the MMT.

Conversion of problems into ideas

The problems of holding liquid cash, the existence of a rigid banking system, and money remittance problems must have led to an idea of developing the MMT service. If an individual or a group of people lacked this principle the problems would have continued and no MMT service would ever have been invented.

System

The thought of innovations requiring systems is properly illustrated by the MMT Services this is for the simple fact there had to be a mobile communication system to yield to the MMT service.

Passion

Those individuals behind MMT had to deal with complex situations and difficult situations as they tried to come up with the MMT service. At a point where the innovation did not seem to work the only driving force must have been a passion for technology.

Unity

The unity of individuals and the coordination and support of the communication giants must have yielded to the great innovation that is MMT however if either lacked nothing like MMT would have been borne.

Leveraging differences

This is making the different races and different backgrounds a source of strength. During the innovation process, one is positive that some differences must have come up but the ability to make them an asset has resulted in the current system which efficiently serves the people in these countries.

References

Baily, N and Litan, R. (2009). Moving money: The future of consumer Payments, New York. Brookings Institution Press

Chatain, P and Borowik, K (2002). Integrity in mobile phone financial services: Measures for mitigating the risks of money laundering and terrorists financing. Washington DC, World Bank Publications.

Griffin, R. W., & Pustay, M. W. (2010) International Business, 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Rodman, S and Shulyak, L (2004) 40 Principles: TRIZ key to technical innovation, Technical Innovation Centre.

Morrison, Y (2008). Philippines and Technology: How Mobile Technology has helped money transfer. Milan, Philippines Journal of Computing.

Solin, M (2008) MMT study, Atlanta Perimeter Centre Place Press.

Vodafone and Roshan Launch first Mobile Money Transfer Service in Afghanistan: Vodafone release. Vol. 68 (b)-2008.

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