Francisco Noguera

Friday Roundup – 2/25/11: Exploring the Link between Mobile Money and mHealth

Mobile money and healthcare for the poor have been prominent on the pages of NextBillion and the blogosphere this week. On one hand, CGAP’s new Mobile Banking Database fills a critical knowledge gap in the ever-growing body of research examining the impacts, success factors and replication potential of mobile-based financial services which are popping up all over the world. While CGAP introduced this new resource, the first mobile money system was introduced in my native Colombia by one of the country’s largest financial institutions. Almost at the same time, Jan Chipchase published a new report (and the amazing photographs that accompany it) looking at mobile money in the Afghan context. Now that’s a hot week for any topic.

NextBillion Staff Writers and partner organizations also started a new series of articles looking at recent market-based healthcare innovations for the poor. We held a live Twitter chat with Ashoka and the series will continue here on NextBillion well into next week.

In light of these concurrent discussions, I’d like to point your attention to a thought-provoking report that bridges them and analyzes the links between mobile banking and mobile health. Written by Meneske Gencer, founder of mPay Connect, and presented at the recent World Economic Forum, it offers a very intriguing insight into the sources of innovation for financial services in the coming years. I will write a more extensive review once I’ve had a chance to read it more carefully in preparation fora research project that will take me to east Africa this summer to dig deeper into these questions.

Also of interest, our allies at MIT Innovations recently published an article by Gencer examining the “Mobile Money Movement”.

I’ll leave it at that for today.

Make sure you don’t miss it: Upcoming events and opportunities

Harvard’s Social Enterprise Conference is coming up next week. Put it on your calendars, as well as Yale’s Conference on Global Health and Innovation which is coming in April. We’ll be at both, so send us a line if you’re planning to attend or if you would like to cover a panel at any of these events.

In case you missed it: NextBillion this Week