"With fewer than 1,000 shops among them, the three have plenty of room to grow. They are a critical mass in a fragmented industry of some 10,000 to 12,000 outlets total, run mainly by mom-and-pop operatives with only tenuous links to an IT world. It's a preserve ripe for the sort of rollup that has brought the efficiencies of centralized management to a yellow book of other specialized retailers -- pizza joints, coffee shops, bookstores -- you name it. The strategies are familiar, too: Buy up existing outlets, open new ones, shut down losers, gussy up the marginal, and juice unit gross and margins by pumping huge amounts of cash into promising new products like short-term advance "pay day" loans..."There's tremendous room here for additional transformations, including more peer-to-peer investment structures, ICT-improved efficiencies, lower-cost remittances and money transfers, bankless banking, and more. Stay tuned!
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