A recent article on the CGAP blog is starting to gain momentum and has been reproduced on a number of websites now. The article by Dr. Bill Maurer asks the question of whether operators are relying on banks who are slowing down MM innovation to protect their current business.
It is a well written and thought provoking piece and on the surface it seems there may be a merit of truth in it. However, perhaps that oversimplifies the challenges banks have in getting executive support to move into a new market segment with lower margins. And the challenges in getting an operator and a bank to agree how much they need each others skills.
An alternative view would be that there is more than just a merit of truth in the piece. Perhaps operators need to be thinking more about partnering with each other within a market to replicate what has worked so well for voice and data… interoperability.
It would be an interesting thought exercise to consider what opportunities may open up from an interoperable payment system in developing markets utilising mobile for a pseudo payment network.