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Mobile Money: the Samee and Dave Show

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Another great evening at the FSClub last week with the Samee and Dave show.

OK, it’s not a double-act although I’m trying hard to make them into one, with Samee the straight guy and Dave the fungi obviously.

Samee Zafar and David Birch are both great speakers about payments and, in particular, mobile payments. As a result, we invited them to repeat a presentation recently made at the Financial Services Club Ireland to our London audience last week, and we had a record turnout.

The evening began with some great charts and stats from Samee about the state of the market.

We had the usual stuff about 1.5 billion internet users but 5 billion mobile folks, although this slide was a particularly interesting one:


Most people think China Mobile is the #1 service provider of mobile telecommunications worldwide but it’s not. The biggest provider is Skype!

Samee went on to talk about the types, methods and structures of payments in the mobile world, which proved to be fascinating.

Dave developed on his themes, and presented one slide that was incredibly insightful statistically speaking. There are:

  • 5 billion active mobile phone subscribers out there
  • 4.1 billion actively used mobile telephones
  • 4 billion text message users, increasing at 19% per annum
  • 2.2 billion bank accounts in use
  • 1.6 billion television sets
  • 1.4 billion email users, increasing at 7% per annum
  • 1.25 landlines at its peak, as there are now 1.15 billion and falling
  • 1.2 PCs of any kind

According to Dave's research, half of all phones In the developing world are 3G and a third are smartphones whilst, in the emerging world, only 4% of all phones are 3G and 8% are smart.  Meanwhile, 1 in 10 phones are never used for voice calls, and data now represents a quarter of all mobile revenues.

Fascinating stuff.

Samee Zafar is a Director in Edgar Dunn's London office and David Birch is a Director of Consult Hyperion, the IT management consultancy that specialises in electronic transactions.

Full slide details and more are available to Club members at

Oh, and Dave just twittered a link to this interview with Tomi Ahonen, formerly with Nokia and author of nine books on mobile trends, saying that mobile is the $5 trillion gorilla that will absorb many industries (including banking).

Worth a view if you have 15 minutes ...


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Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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