Potential Applications of Mobile Technology in Rural Markets

Listing technological requirements in IFMR's ecosystem
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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;
  • Marketing.

Finally, the overall IFMR ecosystem needs technologies to enable information sharing and public information campaigns and surveys.

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