Sunday, January 29, 2012

Speakers at the MMT Asia Pacific conference

Some interesting speakers this week at the APAC Mobile Money Summit in Singapore. Have a look at this link for the list - Many of the speakers have been seen and heard at previous events but I would think that the following would have a good story to tell:

  • Annie Smith from Digicel Pacific - Digicel were innovators in launching their mobile money program in the Pacific over the last few years, and were able to rapidly create a footprint in a number of markets including Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Annie is a new starter in Digicel and will be looking at how these services can move to scale and create a valuable channel for her company. Her insights to these markets and plans for the future should be of value to all mobile money practitioners. Have a look at their site for more details -
  • Ian Watson from WING Cambodia - WING has recently been sold by ANZ to Refresh Mobile. Ian is currently merging the two companies and has publicly said that he plans to expand the WING business model of providing financial services to unbanked Cambodians. His presentation should provide a fascinating insight into his plans for the future. Read more about WING Cambodia and the acquisition by Refresh Mobile here - and
  • Oyungerel Rentsen from Mobifinance - Mongolia is a mobile money market that I certainly don't know a lot about, but this country of 2.75 million people has 20% of its population living under $1.25 a day, and is also the most sparsely populated country in the world ( I imagine there should be some intriguing insights as to how mobile money is developing in this country - Mobifinance is a standalone company that has been set up by the largest mobile operator in Mongolia, Mobicom. If you speak Mongolian, have a look at their website here -

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The WING Cambodia alumni

I was fortunate enough during the period 2007-2010 to lead a simply extraordinary team of people to create WING in Cambodia. In 8 very short months, this team worked huge hours to develop not just a mobile money offering, but an entire business, including property development, regulatory sign-offs, new processes and training and recruitment of dozens of staff. Within another 18 months, the team had helped acquire 150,000 customers and develop access to finance in every province of Cambodia.

With such an extraordinary group of people, it is not surprising to see that many of them are now charting the future of mobile money in Asia and elsewhere. After setting up the operations function, Paul Reynolds is now leading business development for Monitise in South East Asia. Scott Bales moved from the technology team to Fundamo, and is now the Chief Mobile Officer for Movenbank. Regulatory risk and operations expert Michael Joyce is now working with bKash in Bangladesh, and Joep Roest is working with UNCDF handling mobile money development in the South Pacific based out of Port Moresby. David Kleiman has recently worked with the Bank of South Pacific, and Andrew Wilson leads mobile innovation for ANZ in Melbourne. Justin Hadgkiss has recently joined Visa to work on the Fundamo integration in Asia. It is fantastic to see so many of these individuals making such an important contribution to the development of this industry after their ground-breaking work in Cambodia.