Amaana certainly made an impression at the Mobile Commerce event

April 6, 2008 at 6:41 pm 5 comments

quite an act

What a novel way to present what Amaana does! It started off with a video in which users of the service talk about the ease of use of the service and the “pain” that Amaana is addressing. Very down-to-earth, very well made and extremely effective. Then came the stage-show. Instead of a PPT, Fahd and Khawar had a discussion which answered all the questions that a presentation would have but in a completely different way.

the team presents ...

From the t-shirts to the banners, to the little square notebooks and bookmarks, pens and square cards which introduced Amaana, it was all done so neatly, so creatively, so uniquely. Well done Fahd, Khawar, Farzal … and the rest of the team.

networking in the foyer

It was really cool the way all delegates registered using their cell numbers and were kept abreast of the proceedings through the day and had the ability to communicate with each other. The Questions for the Amaana session were received through SMS and Fahd and Khawar attended to them without a break in the session. No mikes having to be rushed to participants. No time wasted. No-one’s question left out. To find out more about Amaana and its vision, read Fahd Bangash’s interview with Rabia Garib.

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If you were a fly on the wall, what would you have heard at this ladies’ lunch? Come to a discourse on extending your reach in the technology space

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TEE BEE  |  April 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    I am eager to see this service take off….mobile commerce including micro-finance using mobile phones is THE next big thing in Pakistan!!!!

    Reply
  • 2. em`are  |  April 7, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Not to sound like a critic or anything but on a serious note Amaana’s entire presentation at the conference was impressive but left a fundamental question unanswered.

    What is the Model and how are we transacting.

    As far as I understood (and also the understanding of some of the bankers working in the realm of e-payments and alternate distribution), Amaana is merely an alerting service for transactions which are taking place on another medium!!!

    Agreed that the orange note books and pens were cool and created an impression that the company is going places but seriously where is the actual commerce part to it. How long is the VC fund gonna.

    I want to send money from Lahore to Islamabad using Amaana. I have to leave my house or office to go to a Amaana powered retailer or Bank to physically deposit that money. The recipient also has to go to withdraw it from somewhere. Where is the convenience factor …… the lazy customer still needs to move!

    Agreed that this might be a great service for the NGO and Micro Finance business for collection of dues but what about the rest of the people who actually transact? Will this model only cater to the un-banked micro finance beneficiaries?

    My final question is security….. Straight SMS as a medium is NOT and CANNOT be secure and as an ex banker who has worked extensively on e-payment systems, mobile banking and alternate distribution, I would like to comment, that is the reason alone why banks are skeptical of connecting with Amaana.

    On a personal note I feel that for me as a transactor, the Inov8 model made more sense where they have created a PAYMENTS Gateway which can be connected to via mobile, internet, POS and Over the counter facilities.

    Reply
  • 3. Jehan  |  April 7, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I am a great fan of Inov8 as well and will be covering them in another post. I think there is a lot of very cutting edge work being done in this space. I will not try and answer your questions or respond to your comments. Perhaps Fahd Bangash or someone from the Amaana team will respond to the reservations you have.

    Reply
  • 4. Vickram Crishna  |  April 13, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I was very impressed by the pragmatic attitude of the Chairman, PTA, who, in the context of rural banking, said it was important for the banking sector to find ways to reach out and extend reach. While saying that issues such as fraud etc are important, the development need of people living in the underdeveloped parts of the country are as important, if not more.

    While your post is about amaana, I am sure, in response to em’are’s comments, that other entrepreneurs will find ways to improve convenience for payments etc for the ‘banked’ sector as well. Maybe amaana, also, but I do hope they continue to keep their eyes open to the needs of the underdeveloped sector.

    Reply
  • 5. Fahd Bangash  |  April 14, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Thanks Jehan for covering the topic. Thanks Vickram for being with us.

    amaana is an alternative to traditional forms of payment, not an additive to them. At the conference we were interested in highlighting what was Beyond Mobile Banking. I agree that interfaces that just link into an existing medium are just toys, not networks. Also agreed that you shouldn’t have to travel to use your amaana – amaana has to arrive at a place near you.

    The best way to know amaana is to use it!

    Reply

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