Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Is Mobile Money the Killer mService for Women?

Brooke Partridge, CEO of Vital Wave Consulting, put forth a startling proposition in a previous Technology Salon. She described a new ICT4D paradigm: Women + Mobile Phones + mServices = Economic Development.

She believes that combining the traditional role of women in the family and the power of services delivered through the mobile phone (mServices) has the potential for exponential impact. It is the perfect, and the obvious combination; empowering women through the benefits of mobile phone ownership is the easiest and most straightforward measure we can adopt to advance social and economic growth in developing countries.

Mobile phone payment in India

The most popular and well-known mService is mPayments. Safaricom’s M-Pesa is expected to have reached a throughput equal to an astounding 20% of Kenya’s GDP in 2010. In their research, Vital Wave Consulting found Kenyan women to be more aware of the value that mServices could provide them, because of their exposure to M-Pesa.

But are there real development opportunities in mPayments and the greater concept of mobile money? Can financial transactions on mobile phones by half the population really lift an entire society?

To help us deep dive on the power mobile money will be Menekse Gencer. Menekse is an expert in mobile financial services and the founder of mPay Connect, a consulting service for clients seeking to launch mobile financial services for the unbanked in developed and developing markets. Her work has taken her to Bangladesh, Jamaica, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In her newest publications for The World Economic Forum and Innovations Magazine, Menekse identified why mobile money will have a significant impact on the GDP of emerging markets and how mobile money bolsters the outcomes of other industries like healthcare.

Together, Brooke and Menekse will lead us in a discussion around mobile money, its opportunity to advance development, and its specific impact on gender in the next Technology Salon in San Francisco.

Is Mobile Money the Killer mService for Women?
February SF Technology Salon
Tuesday, February 8, 10-11:30am
mission*social Conference Room
972 Mission Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103 (map)

We’ll have espresso and donuts for a morning rush, but be sure to RSVP ASAP, as we only have room for 15 people, then there will be a waitlist.

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