In this episode, host Janet Shulist facilitates a debate between Arunjay Katakam, futurist and entrepreneur and Nika Naghavi, Director of Data and Insights for the Mobile Money Program at the GSMA. Arunjay and Nika debate the future of mobile money in developing countries, with Nika representing the MNOs and Arunjay representing Fintechs and over-the-top players.
Nika Naghavi is the Data & Insights Director for the Mobile Money Programme at the GSMA. In her role, she provides the programme and its stakeholders with intelligence and analysis on future trends and opportunities within the Mobile Money sector with a focus on emerging use cases, business models, disruptive innovation, best practices and social impact opportunities. Nika joined GSMA in 2013 and has held various roles, including overseeing Mobile Money Programme’s publication and projects as well as designing an overarching data strategy to ensure that the Programme keeps providing the most relevant analytics and insights to meet the needs of the industry.
Arunjay Katakam is motivated by his passion for financial inclusion and solving poverty, Arunjay is focused on how he can use technology for good, breaking down barriers to democratise money. A highly regarded payment expert with strong strategic and analytical skills, Arunjay worked with the GSMA Mobile Money programme for five years. Where he provided a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of mobile money including analysing the impact of new technologies and business models. As advisor to the Head of Mobile Money, in 2018 Arunjay led the strategy pivot to a Payments as a Platform approach and helped secure $17m funding for phase 4 of the programme.
Janet Shulist has more than six years of experience supporting financial inclusion initiatives through digital finance and mobile technology in emerging markets. She runs her own consultancy to support fintechs and digital finance providers and previously was a Mobile Money Insights Manager at GSMA.
Nika fills us in on some of the key highlights from this year’s state of the industry report on mobile money.
Janet asks the guests how MNOs and Fintech companies have responded to the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is better equipped to reach those last one billion unconnected people- MNOs or Fintech companies?