“Telepin is currently actively installing next generation mobile money platforms into three African markets replacing platforms from early installations.”

Interview with Vincent Kadar, CEO of Telepin, gold sponsor at the upcoming Mobile Money & Digital Payments Africa in Johannesburg in May.

1)      What Telepin products and services are you most excited about at the moment?

We are excited at the presence of smart phones entering the development markets and the impact it will have with our product line.  When we started working with our customers’ roadmaps we initiated the build of our Agent and Subscriber smartphone applications in line with the market timing.  I’m excited to see to see our mobile applications used in the market with end-to-end platform creating a robust, secure and consistent experience for the end-users.

2)      Any particular current or recent projects/success stories that you want to share?

We recently announced Cable and Wireless in Panama.  Panama, with 3.5 million people is an interesting market; 95 registered banks, an important regional financial centre and logistics hub, but still a developing country with equivalent social inequalities that exist in many African markets.  Some would estimate that up to 40% of the population is unbanked, thereby the right conditions exist for a successful mobile money system. Later this year we will also unveil several platforms with a new customer group in Africa.

3)      What do you see as the main challenges for this industry?

At many of the conferences the challenges identified remain focused on agent liquidity.  The single biggest objective of any system is to develop the ecosystem of merchants, business, utility, and government whereby liquidity is not a requirement because the ecosystem is self-sustaining without the want for subscribers to draw physical cash out of the system.

4)      What is your vision for the industry?

Currently we are in the second wave of our industry, we haven’t quite peaked yet, but maturity and discipline has set in.  We have passed the point of no return; it’s no longer a shoot from the hip approach, but a well-orchestrated deployment acknowledging and inclusive with all members of the ecosystem.

5)      What surprises you about this industry?

What surprises me are the players that are entering this space. Some are coming from financial services and others from the telecom sector.  Both say their approach is the right approach to service the industry. We have been relatively lucky whereby we have deployed in not only mobile network operators, but banks, as well as traditional payment service providers.  Our experience has provided us with a well-crafted playbook on how to approach the differing markets and recommend alternatives avenues when we see our customers potentially going down a dead end.

6)      Any specific plans for Africa that are on the cards?

We are currently actively installing next generation mobile money platforms into three African markets replacing platforms from early installations. These deployments with our customers’ roadmap will accelerate critical time-to-market challenges that they experienced previously as well as providing a robust platform that will scale with the current and forecast demands associated with the services that will be deployed.

7)      Why did you decide to partner with Mobile Money & Digital Payments Africa?

We have sponsored this series for several years, and view Mobile Money & Digital Payments Africa as the event in Africa that brings together all the critical decision makers in an open collaborative discussion.

8)      What will be your message at the event?

Come and meet my customers and their operations.

9)      Anything you would like to add?

As an industry we have evolved and produced true success stories, developed ecosystems that drive economies and add value to people’s daily lives.  We have a long way to go, the next five years will be transformative and will result, as technology evolves, that smartphone markets in developed markets become the norm.

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