ST Women in Technology - 69

Even in underserved markets, local insight matters.

W

hen a business technology innovation
changes the way of doing things, it captures the
imagination of Fintech investors everywhere.
M-Pesa, for example, the mobile phone money
transfer system that was developed and is widely
used in Kenya and East Africa had people terribly
excited a few years ago.
On paper, M-Pesa looked like something that
could be replicated all over the developing
world. After all, a lot of people who need
financial services don't have them. Nigeria, for
instance, has 170 million people, and nearly all
of them have cell phones but only 33% have a
bank account. So why not just cut-and-paste the
M-Pesa app for all developing markets?

IF YOU START WITH THE
TECHNOLOGY, YOU'LL PROBABLY
FAIL. IF YOU START WITH THE
CUSTOMER, YOU'RE MUCH MORE
LIKELY TO SUCCEED.

It's rarely that easy, because cultures and
customer needs differ from market to market.
Vodacom tried to transplant M-Pesa to South
Africa but it didn't work out very well. The
reason: customer needs and culture were
misunderstood. In Kenya and East Africa, many
people work in the city, but also maintain a dual
69



ST Women in Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ST Women in Technology

Contents
ST Women in Technology - Cover1
ST Women in Technology - Cover2
ST Women in Technology - 1
ST Women in Technology - Contents
ST Women in Technology - 3
ST Women in Technology - 4
ST Women in Technology - 5
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ST Women in Technology - Cover4
ST Women in Technology - 108
ST Women in Technology - Poster 1
ST Women in Technology - Poster 2
ST Women in Technology - Poster 3
ST Women in Technology - Poster 4
ST Women in Technology - Poster 5
ST Women in Technology - Poster 6
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