The session starts with a one-on-one between Ina Fried and Anand Chandrasekaran from Airtel in India. He says the internet revolution in his home country has caused an immense growth for communication providers.
“Mobile is often the only way people go online” says Anand, “and India is crazy about music.” So Airtel India launched a free music app called Whynk.The commercial for Whynk shows 200 live musicians and a pretty Indian girl using the app on her smart phone. The commercial mesmerised the DLD audience and Ina Fried invites the rest of the panel up on stage.
The expertise of the panelists also lies in mobile payment and mobile finance.Tayo Oviosu, from Pago in Nigeria says cash is essential still but Pago is creating the possibility to pay online. The digital wallett is being snapped up and Tayo says Nigeria is a booming market.
Harry Nelis (Accel Partner) raises the issue of a growing remittance industry in emerging economies, where most migrants have accounts and credit cards. He says the “beauty of electronic cash is that it leaves a digital trail.”
Why is cash bad?
Handling cash is costly and in inefficient economies that is an even bigger problem. Even in Europe handling cash generates 3% of GDP. The cost of cash is one reason why mobile money markets are far more advanced in emerging economies. Anand says that they also have learnt something from the Silicon Valley. It’s important to know what causes online and mobile habits.
Ina Fried wraps up the session with a short Q&A in which Tayo shares that Pago’s strategy is to win Nigeria and then the rest of Afirca.