Journal: Western Union takes MFI route for rural spread

03 India, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Peace Intelligence
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Shilpa Phadnis

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bangalore: Money transfer company Western Union believes in tapping fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

The company is tying up with microfinance institutions (MFIs) and e-governance service providers to facilitate financial inclusion.

This marks a shift in its India game plan, to offer money transfer services through MFIs besides its current portfolio of India Post network, banks, retail and finance agents.

The Nasdaq-listed company has tied up with e-governance and IT solutions provider CMS Computers, which has government’s mandate to roll out more than 17,000 e-governance locations across India.

Phi Beta Iota: This is VERY SIGNIFICANT.  The five billion at the bottom of the pyramid (1.5 billion EACH in India and in China) represent a four trillion dollar a year economy, which is FOUR TIMES the size of the one trillion a year economy of the one billion rich.  See our review of C. K. Prahalad’s brilliant The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits; Creating a World Without Poverty–Social Business and the Future of Capitalism; and  Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail among many other books on poverty–these are best three we have found.  Now imagine Nokia ambient-charging phones that are infrastructure-independent (see Haggle) and can transfer micro-cash, and you can see where this is going.