Carrier commerce is the unsung hero of global financial inclusion, and 2016 will continue this trend according to Fincclude’s John BaRoss…
Which developing or emerging markets (regions / countries) do you cover?
Global - developing and developed markets
What are your main hardware and/or services focus areas?
In 3Q15 unveiled a non-profit start-up (Fincclude.org) that will operate an a next-gen industry association focused exclusively on the rapidly (and quietly) expanding FinTech industry that is "Carrier Commerce" - to harness industry knowledge, expertise, experiences and passion to help global industry colleagues grow broader, deeper and faster ... to also help advance global financial inclusion become ubiquitous. A voice of advocacy for Carrier Commerce will be a companion aim.
What are the top market and customer trends that will drive change in your area during 2016, and why?
Carriers are expanding into a variety of sectors of Carrier Commerce, some via innovation (i.e.: Carrier Mobile Money, Carrier Crowd Funding, Carrier Transit Commerce, Carrier Healthcare Commerce, Carrier Education Commerce, Carrier Mobile Wallets, etc.) and others via regulatory bodies providing licenses (i.e.: 5 licensed Carrier Payments Banks in India by the RBI, 3 licensed Carrier Super Agents [banks] by the CRB in Nigeria, a licensed Internet Bank in South Korea by FSC), etc.
What are the solutions that will make the greatest impact in your area during 2016, and why?
To illustrate by example, in May 2015 a Ugandan Judge ruled that Ugandan Carriers operating mobile money services in Uganda were illegal based on his interpretation of Ugandan banking and telecom regulations, giving the impacted Ugandan Carriers just 2 weeks to appeal. Consider: Fincclude.org knows that Carrier Mobile Money operates today in 60 nations. An advisory-alert would go to Fincclude global membership requesting any experiences with similar judicial push-back in those 60 nations, then pull together the successful argumentation and get that info to industry colleagues at Uganda Carriers ASAP. Fundamentally Fincclude facilitates cross-pollinating industry community knowledge to help advance the industry and financial inclusion faster.
What changes need to be made to speed up developments and what can hold them back?
Fincclude.org was established because today there is no know 'exclusive' voice for the industry to help knowledge share and advocate for Carrier Commerce (GSMA is a tremendous industry association that also serves competitive industries to Carrier Commerce ... like banking and it's growth into mobile financial services. Banks also have various advocacy industry associations that Carrier Commerce does not have. Marketplace/industry interest in the idea of Fincclude was tested in 2015 and embraced by dozens of global C-levels of stakeholders from across the ecosystems of Carrier Commerce. Fincclude.org's focus now is in investigating seed funding options with foundations, unilateral and multilateral agencies and other donors of tens of billions annually to financial inclusion initiatives and projects. Specifically to your question, changes need to be made with global regulators and even with enhancing the vision of Carrier leadership in many markets. Fincclude can help via its exclusive focus at harnessing global industry knowledge to help enlighten regulators, Carrier leadership, as well as consumer advocacy groups, online merchants and others.
Which of the following do you think will be most important in emerging markets in 2016?
While a majority of media attention continues to focus on mobile payments ('Proximity Payments V2'), the quiet giant of mobile commerce is Carrier Commerce thanks to the nearly ubiquitous footprint of Carrier reach. Specifically, Direct Carrier Billing [DCB] is available in over 110 countries. Carrier Mobile Money [CMM] is available in over 60 nations. The footprint of DCB + CMM reaches over 97% of the world's population today! Fincclude will help champion advocating for this under-appreciated infrastructure and the Carrier Commerce sectors that can leverage this differentiated reach to help with the noble aim of advancing global financial inclusion while tapping incremental revenues, strengthening acquisition performance, making stickier customers plus having the opportunity to realize PR and goodwill windfalls.
John BaRoss is the Founder & President of Fincclude Incorporated