I recently stumbled across a link to a report on Mobile Money in Afghanistan.
It's a fantastic and in-depth report on the ground, interviewing Afghanistanis on their views about moving money and its challenges.
Here's a brief summary of the introduction to the report:
Over half the world's population lives without reliable banking institutions. They live in a world rife with theft, graft, and bribery. 'Cash stuffed under the mattress' is a real phenomenon, and in many places, it's a more reliable way to guard and access one's life savings.
There is an opportunity and a need for a new way of sending money to others, and a new way of banking. The near-universal presence of the mobile phone is offering just that opportunity.
In 2008, Vodafone and the telecommunications company Roshan created m-paisa, a money transfer service initially used to facilitate payroll for the afghan national police force. The service is now taking hold with the general public, but questions around its long-term impact remain. Will Afghanistan's m-paisa achieve the same kind of scale, level of consumer confidence, and degree of economic significance as Kenya's m-pesa?
In the words and photographs in this book, Frog Design's Executive Creative Director for Global Insights Jan Chipchase and Researcher Panthea Lee report on research they did in the summer of 2010 on the nascent mobile-phone-based financial services currently available in Afghanistan.
The whole book has been made available online for free …
… along with 100s of photographs …
… and a presentation …
Presentation: The Mobile Frontier (17MB Powerpoint)
I think that's incredibly generous of Frog Design to make this available to us all, and thank them for it.
One of my favourite pieces in the book is this chart:
Mainly because I've never seen a chart in any form before that provides this comparison.
Excellent … and will be used in lots of my future presentations (with attribution of course).
I also liked some of the photos a lot, particularly this one for some reason:
Thank you Jan, Panthea and all the guys at Frog Design.