Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Softtribe's SMS payment agnostic service for developing countries

Herman Chinery-Hesse

Developing countries have scarce capital, credit or loans available to them to engage in commerce. So when the CEO of Softtribe spoke at TedGlobal2007 about his agnostic sms payment service I was overjoyed with pleasure (I'll explain this later).

There are quite a few sms mobile payment options out there in the world; Kenya has M-pesa by Vodafone, Indonesia, India, and now I hear Paypal is getting into the mix. All these payment systems are OK Herman says, but they are a closed systems. Softtribe's system Herman claims will be totally agnostic.

I called Herman a few weeks ago in Accra, Ghana where he is based. We talked a bit about TED, the weather in East Africa compared to West Africa and about this SMS payment service he is working on. Herman sees this service being the Gold standard in Africa and other developing markets.

The mobile phone has disrupted the landline phone service, has enabled Africans and others in developing countries to communicate with the outside world. Now the mobile phone is getting ready to disrupt another industry credit/debit cards. This is already taking place in Japan, Japanese use their Mobile phones to pay for Metro/subway fares, movie tickets, a cup of green tea and other items.

As an entrepreneur, I want to see Herman's service and other uninhibited payment systems flourish. Many Africans such as myself are Internet entrepreneurs, we are embracing alternative payment systems that allow consumers in Africa to be able to buy things through our websites.

Softtribe's service comes out later this year, be on the look out!

1 comment:

  1. And imagine the resulting cocktail if you add the possibility of encrypted SMS in the mix:



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