Wanted: Mobile money ideas

March 12, 2014 by and

Spend five minutes and potentially impact thousands of people!

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What’s all the hype about mobile money?

Mobile money is creating new ways to work with the poor and help them manage their money. Already in four countries, there are more mobile money accounts than bank accounts.  Innovative development approaches are appearing around the world.  Bangladesh is the fastest growing mobile money market in the world, and organisations like Oxfam, FHI 360, Chars Livelihood Programme and others are experimenting with it.

The global South is turning more towards cashless solutions to meet the needs of the bottom of the pyramid. Everything from paying for toilets and solar panels, to sending money back to villages to saving money in a mobile wallet and paying school fees via your phone—the sky is the limit. So help us think of what could be the next innovation!

What will BRAC do?

Thanks to the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the social innovation lab has established the BRAC Innovation Fund for Mobile Money, the first of its kind!  Projects can include switching from cash to mobile money in existing programmes, and/or designing new programmes that incorporate the unique value of mobile money into their model. The critical part is that mobile money must be included.

Spend five minutes and potentially impact thousands of people!

What we will do is in your hands.  Tell us what you think is the best thing to try. If your idea is selected, it will have the potential to impact thousands, possibly even millions, of people.

We have opened the website for the first wave of ideas.  Now is the time to brainstorm and share without worrying about the details. Read other people’s ideas, rate them, and comment with questions or suggestions that build on their ideas.

Later we’ll pick a few of the best ideas and ask for a full proposal from the relevant section of BRAC—so don’t worry; you won’t have to do the hard part if you don’t work here. Right now, we’re just looking for everyone to start thinking and sharing!  Check out the Innovation Fund website to get started and learn more! We are accepting ideas through April 10.

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Maria A May is the senior programme manager for the social innovation lab and the microfinance research and development unit. Amanda J Misiti is the knowledge management and communications officer for the social innovation lab.