The actions that are required for this commitment include but are not limited to the following:
- Identification of a potential country where the majority of the population is unbanked, the mobile network infrastructure is fairly well developed, and growth in cell phones is reaching the bottom of the pyramid.
- Identification of potential partner banks/MFI's who are innovative and progressive and share a passion and enthusiasm for banking the unbanked. Traditional banks often find this 'partnership' concept difficult to embrace since they believe either that they can do it themselves or that it does not meet their revenue model and that there is 'no money to be made' at the bottom of the pyramid. The key is that the decision to bank the unbanked is not a technology solution, but is a strategic decision.
- Discussions/debate with the regulator in the country
- Discussions with the Mobile Network operators as some integration is required. This has not proved problematic as it enhances their revenue. Where it potentially may become problematic is where the MNO themselves want to be a player in this space.
- Discussion with the card associations (if required in the particular country)
- Full scoping exercise with the bank/s
- Putting together the agreement and the business plan; presentation and sign off
- Appointment and training of key staff
- Technology integration
- Development of the marketing plan
The WIZZIT model is unique in that it does not dis-intermediate any of the key parties that have a very strong vested interest in this space. This includes the Central Bank and the Regulators; the Card Associations; The Mobile Network Operators, the Banks and the Money Transfer Operators.
WIZZIT's performance metrics are very simple, measured by the number of accounts opened and the number of transactions conducted. This will vary according to each of the 13 markets targeted in WIZZIT's expansion strategy, but overall, within three years of launching in a particular country, the goal - whether for India or for Serbia - is to have achieved operational breakeven, tracked by transactions per month, in millions. The transaction per month measure is a function of how many customers are enrolled and how many transactions conducted. The number of transactions conducted per customer is a function of trust and confidence in the new technology and the new Bank, and WIZZIT's experience shows that this increases over time. Depending on the market, it is expected that larger markets achieve a conservative minimum of 1,000,000 customers within the 3-year period, whereas smaller markets achieve 500,000 customers. In the aggregate, this is how WIZZIT can ensure the model is sustainable as a commercially viable venture while also ensuring it is realizing its mission of banking the unbanked by providing financial services to the poor via mobile banking technologies.
In providing access to a basic bank account, clients advance along the financial access curve, thereby improving their economic livelihoods and ultimately bettering their lives. One of the key drivers in alleviating poverty is through basic financial access. Mobile technology provides a platform with which to do this.
WIZZIT's model is through a 'bank led' approach due to the highly regulated nature of the banking industry which can add significant cost to the goal of banking the unbanked. Consequently, partners in mobile banking are typically existing banks and others who are innovative and share WIZZIT Bank's vision of providing financial services to the poor.
WIZZIT Bank's model is committed to and embraces the philosophy of employing the unemployed and uplifting them through gainful employment, development and training. Further, in banking the unbanked there is an obligation to provide basic financial literacy training. WIZZIT is committed to providing financial services that are affordable, accessible, and available. The power of mobile banking enables WIZZIT and WIZZIT's partners to do this.
WIZZIT is looking to partner with innovative financial institutions. These would include Banks, Microfinance Organizations, Credit Unions, Community Banks, and Post Offices. WIZZIT is also looking for media exposure where case studies on achievements and accomplishments can be featured.