Mobile marketers predicted that 2011 would be the year mobile payments enter their disruptive phase in our region. I wasn’t clear then how true that would be, and in the most unlikely of places. Using mobile and social media the Kenyans for Kenya Initiative reached their target 1BN Kenya Shillings. Kenyans for Kenya, chaired by Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore, was billed as the most successful humanitarian initiative in this country, raising Sh500 million in the first two weeks.
In Haiti, the Red Cross identified a need to use mobile and social technology to give the public a more involved role in disaster response, empowering people to report specific needs and helping aid agencies gather real-time data for response decision-making.
The personal and immediate nature of mobile establishes it as one of the most effective channels for engaging new donors who trend younger, raising money and providing transparency to donors on how their donations are being used. Whereas TEXT2DONATE campaigns are more effective in other regions, for Kenya, fundraising was through the mobile payments service MPESA. Funds were remitted directly to the Kenya Red Cross Paybill number at no extra costs charged to the end –user.
Mobile is not only effective as a transactions platform itself, but as a traffic driver.
So far in this year alone, we have seen dictators overthrown using mobile and social media, following the Tunisian Revolt, and the Egyptian Uprising. Recent riots in the UK were attributed to BBM( Black Berry Messenger )for ease of communicating by the riot organizers.
By 2013 Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. If that does not startle you then this will, the growth rate of the smart phone market is set to be more than 4 times the rate of the overall mobile phone market. Smartphone sales are estimated to surpass computer sales in 2012.