“I Know Nick Hughes”

[Paul Makin] I went to a very enjoyable event yesterday evening, held to launch a joint DFID/CGAP report, entitled “Scenarios for Branchless Banking in 2020”. There were presentations by two of the report’s authors, Mark Pickens and David Porteous, describing two of the four scenarios mapped out in the report:

  • “Bharatia”, which explores how a new market entrant can succeed in a saturated market by adding extra value and innovative products;
  • “Telmar”, exploring the potential for development in a post-conflict country, using a mobile money solution developed in part using funds from international donors to distribute government aid directly to recipients.

These were followed by a valuable discussion amongst panellists, my only complaint being that an extra couple of hours would have been useful.

I strongly recommend you download the report. But then I would, wouldn’t I, since I was one of the contributors. It’s available from the CGAP site, at:


Nick Hughes of M-PESA fame was there, and the most amusing part of the evening was one of the presenters mentioning how many people in the field of mobile money seek to give themselves some credibility by mentioning that they know Nick. There was then a Spartacus moment, as the next speaker stood up and began with “I know Nick Hughes”, making Nick visibly squirm.

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