12 August 2008

Wizzit ~ South African Mobile "Pocket Bank"

Thanks to the Brand South Africa blog for spotlighting Wizzit in Have Cellphone, Will Bank. They point to Toby Shapshak's article in Vodaphone Receiver 'zine titled Mobile banking – the next phase in Africa’s mobile revolution. Says Shapshak:
Wizzit is a remarkable success story of innovative thinking, clever and appropriate solutions and satisfied customers. Most of its users have never owned bank accounts, but they have cellphones. Linking the bank accounts to the cellular subscriptions not only gives them an account, but use-anywhere, anytime mobile banking. [...] Wizzit is starting in the farming heartland of South Africa and in under-serviced urban areas [...] The principle difference between Wizzit and [Kenyan Safaricom's service] M-Pesa is that the latter works without a bank account. This payment model only allows payments to another cellphone user, without all the value-added benefits of banking services, but it allows person-to-person transfers, which is sorely needed in Africa with its massive migrant workforces.
Check out this Wizzit promo where CEO Brian Richardson (and colleagues) describe the Wizzit model, including tackling the "Three A's = Affordability + Accessibility + Availability" to give millions of previously unbanked individuals access to a bank account...

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