The modern era of tech breakthroughs has brought many innovations to those who were previously unable to fully utilize their power, with the most obvious innovation being a smartphone – now an accessible piece of tech.
However, while a rare occurrence in most of the developed world, almost two billion people in developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, are currently “unbanked” – that is, they don’t own a bank account and are therefore barred from vital financial transactions and services. They do, however, own smartphones. And FinTech companies are the solution that would allow the unbanked to fully utilize a whole range of financial services through their Mobile Operators – services that were previously available only to those with a bank account.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 showed that FinTech – financial services provided through the tech industry – is one of the central topics in the IT world, with a focus on enabling unbanked users to utilize the same host of services that their banked peers enjoy.
High levels of unemployment, lack of ATMs in smaller regions, or even big banks leads to the population deviating from financial transactions, especially if banking institutions don’t consider the population a profit-making one.
This is where FinTech comes to the rescue. Not having a bank account no longer means being unable to transfer money to peers, pay for goods and services, and, generally, enjoy a host of cashless services – such mobile app stores, etc.
Mobile operators have an enormous client base, which consists of people who’ve already been authenticated and verified (KYC). With the help of FinTech companies, mobile operators can expand their range of services to include financial services for the unbanked, thereby solving the problem of not having a bank account. FinTech transforms a mobile phone into a financial instrument, allowing end-clients to use their mobile account as a payment form.
With tech like that, people can pay for apps, get microloans, and do peer-to-peer money transfers, etc. They can even be issued payment cards linked to their mobile accounts, which is something that greatly broadens the end-client’s possibilities for financial transactions.
But the end-clients aren’t the only ones benefiting from FinTech companies. MNOs and MVNOs are often deterred from implementing in-house FinTech solutions due to costs of creating a financial platform from scratch, establishing relations with numerous banks and financial institutions, and legal matters that ensue, such as licensing.
That’s why the optimal solution for MNOs and MVNOs who want to retain and expand their client base through Value Added Services is to partner up with a FinTech company that has ready-made solutions, transactional platforms, and all the necessary licenses, not to mention established partnerships with financial institutions that bring total costs and commissions down.
One such company is CreditPilot, a FinTech brand that’s been operating in Europe for over two decades. Its key product is Any2Any – a platform that provided MNOs and MVNOs to with the ability to offer financial services to their clients. Any2Any can be implemented into any existing MNO/MVNO infrastructure. It allows MNOs and MVNOs to expand their products and services to end-clients, a platform that goes beyond a barebone transactional system, and includes license arrangements and merchant connections, and more. Thus, it gives MNOs and MVNOs a seamless mechanism for financial services, all without the heavy costs of developing an in-house solution.
Renato Andre de Andrade Reis, a consultant for CreditPilot, is quite optimistic about the Any2Any platform and its possibilities:
“To increase the subscriber ARPU is probably the key goal of any MNO, and I want to give you an example of one of our clients – just some key facts that tell us why our platform is the best solution for a Mobile Network Operator aiming to provide more services, retain clients, and remain competitive.
Our client implemented the Any2Any platform 2 years ago, and since then, they’ve seen their financial services users grow from zero to around 5% of their entire customer base, which, in their case, was some 2 million subscribers. But that’s not all.
Any2Any increased the ARPU of the financial services users by 10%, and as for the remittance users, the increase was a whopping 100%. As of now, it’s absolutely realistic that our client is going to achieve 1% of its total revenues solely from financial services and remittance provided through our platform.
All of this happened with minimum investment on the client’s part, since we at CreditPilot supply all the hardware, software and operational support as part of our managed services solution. Essentially, all the client had to do, was to market the solutions. Compare that to building an in-house platform, and all the corporate and bureaucratic labyrinths our client would have to navigate, had they not gone with a ready-made platform like Any2Any.”
Numbers don’t lie, and one can see that a partnership model between MNOs and FinTech companies is the only way to allow MNOs to offer affordable financial services to their clients, especially the unbanked.