Mobile An Agent for Development

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Mobile An Agent for Development - a panel presentation at the USID 2012 conference at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore on October 11, 2012

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Mobile An Agent for Development

  1. 1. MOBILE: AN AGENT FOR SOCIALINNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT Ganesh N Prabhu Indian Institute of Management Bangalore October 2012
  2. 2. MOBILE FOR DEVELOPMENTA mobile phone essentially creates a contact node. A contact node for potentially for every adult in the country.A contact node that can be used by agencies to inform, educate, entertain users and to know about users.A node that can be used by users to contact other users.A node that can be used by users to contact agencies. As seen in the next few slides, all these linkages can be used effectively for developmental purposes provided every adult has a mobile or even just a registered SIM. 2October 2012 Ganesh N Prabhu@IIM Bangalore
  3. 3. EXAMPLES OF MOBILE FORDEVELOPMENT - 1National Kidney Foundation Singapore – used mobiles in 2002 for getting people to donate in millions by dialing a phone number appearing on a TV program. The donated amount (usually $5) was added automatically to the user’s phone bill.Earlier a family made one donation on a land line – with mobiles each person in a family could potentially donate individually and the NKF donations actually multiplied.A possible way to get people to donate for development or for causes. The mechanism exists (premium SMS) but has not been used for getting donations at low user transaction cost. 3October 2012 Ganesh N Prabhu@IIM Bangalore
  4. 4. EXAMPLES OF MOBILE FORDEVELOPMENT - 2South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies - uses mobiles and radio to inform fishermen at sea the prevailing prices for each type of fish at each landing beach market so that they can chose the right market to land for higher prices.A possible way to get daily wage laborers to find employers for the day – use mobiles to inform them where their demand exists so that such laborers can find a job for the day.The mechanism exists but has not been used as much as it can be for effectively filling such information asymmetry that leads to lower income than possible with market demand. 4October 2012 Ganesh N Prabhu@IIM Bangalore
  5. 5. EXAMPLES OF MOBILE FORDEVELOPMENT - 3Mobiles for forex remittances information by UAE Exchange – users (typically poor Asian workers at construction sites) get their salaries at their worksite through UAE Exchange. They can remit to their relatives in Asia through a single data ID card integrated to their mobile phone. They get immediate SMS on safe delivery of cash to their relatives in remote areas.A premium service designed for low income group customers.A possible way to get illiterates in India who do not have bank accounts to move money safely with ease, assurance and low transaction costs (transaction cost of money order is 5%).5October 2012 Ganesh N Prabhu@IIM Bangalore
  6. 6. EXAMPLES OF MOBILE FORDEVELOPMENT - 4SIM Cards for Banking in Afghanistan – users who cannot afford a mobile use just SIM cards to do banking transactions from the nearest retail outlet that doubles as a banking agent.A possible way to get those who cannot afford a mobile to just keep a SIM card to do bank transactions – this reduces their overhead of keeping an identity card – a SIM with a fingerprint reader should be enough to authenticate.The mechanism exists but has not been used as much as it can be for low cost and decentralized banking transactions that reduce financing and transaction costs for the rural poor. 6October 2012 Ganesh N Prabhu@IIM Bangalore
  7. 7. POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS FORDEVELOPMENT1. Enabling rural services - transport, medical, veterinary, retail at lower financing costs and transaction costs for the poor.2. Integration of post office savings database with SIM cards to enable low cost transactions across post office locations.3. SIM Cards with finger print authentication for development funds transfer to target population without siphoning.4. Rapid voting and counting using SIM card and fingerprint authentication on local, social and development issues.5. Tracking actual rural to urban migration through SIM card movement once nationwide roaming becomes free. 7October 2012 Ganesh N Prabhu@IIM Bangalore

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