BOP Circle Gains Momentum
I was also in Mexico City to help with the launch of the BOP Circle, a group of companies who gather to share experience and learn from one another. What was impressive is the degree of commitment by some of the companies. Microsoft now has two separate divisions focused on new BOP products. AC Nielsen regularly collects market research data on BOP consumer product spending from a large panel. Grupo Elektra’s Banco Azteca has become one of the major sources of credit to the BOP. These companies are in the BOP to stay.
I also met with two of the major Mexican mobile communications companies to explore their interest in a low-cost way to extend their networks into rural areas and their services downmarket into the BOP. One of them in fact was very interested, and responsive to the argument that the coming wave of financial services over mobiles would be a “killer app” that would drive customers and traffic within lower income groups. Pertinent, since a recent announcement by major banks and mobile companies presages the launch of mobile payment systems for Mexico. It’s hard not to come away with the feeling that movement toward taking BOP markets seriously has an irreversible momentum in Mexico.