Potential Applications of Mobile Technology in Rural Markets
This note discusses the perspectives of IFMR Rural Finance and IFMR Ventures on the potential of mobile-based applications to address their existing challenges. IFMR Rural Finance focuses on setting up, running and managing rural financial institutions, and is keen to find ways for:
- Customer enrolment to be completed at the customer's home;
- Customers to be able to transact with each other and with the financial institution remotely, using hand-held devices;
- Wealth managers to be able to communicate with each other and with the management team at each local financial institution through an SMS-based platform;
- Financial institutions to be able to update customers.
Network Enterprises Fund (NEF) is the first fund promoted by IFMR Ventures. Subsidiaries of NEF seek to use mobile phones for:
- Management of orders;
- Information services delivery;
- Cattle insurance;
- Milk collection and milk payment solutions;
- Retailing of energy efficient products;
- Distribution of energy through grids;
- Booking management systems;
- Payments for water purchase;
Finally, the overall IFMR ecosystem needs technologies to enable information sharing and public information campaigns and surveys.