The 12th annual Meffys, supported by F-Secure, is open for entries and will return to London this Autumn after 2 year in the States. We’ve been asking last year’s winners what winning a Meffy meant to them and what they’ve been up to since.
This week, we’re talking to 2014’s winner of the Mobile Money Category – Smart e-Money, Inc. Vice President and Head, Angelito M. Villanueva.
What did Smart e-Money win a Meffy for?
Smart e-Money, Inc. (‘SMI’) won in the Mobile Money Category for its quick deployment of Mobile Cash Transfer Program (‘MCTP’).
“Since winning the Meffys last year, SMI has continued to harmonize its mobile money initiatives with the Philippine government and international humanitarian aid partners”
Why do you think the judges picked your entries?
The MCTP is a world-first mobile money deployment within the first two months since the calamity, as compared with Haiti and Japan disasters. What sets it apart from other mobile money programs is its objective to promote financial inclusion to help typhoon survivors and spur economic activity. This proved to have a positive impact on a variety of macroeconomic indicators, including self-employment business activities and household consumption. Its strategic initiative not only had a local impact but a global dimension given that the contracting parties are various UN agencies.
What have you been up to since winning the award last year?Since winning the Meffys last year, SMI has continued to harmonize its mobile money initiatives with the Philippine government and international humanitarian aid partners. SMI is a member of the Board of Directors of Mobile Ecosystem Forum, Global trade Association of payment innovators and tapped as a regular resource on financial innovations by various global organizations, including but not limited to London School of Economics, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Asian Development Bank, IFC-World Bank, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Better than Cash Alliance, USAID and UNOCHA, among others.
We are also an active member of the Cash Learning Partnership (‘CaLP’) and Cash Working Group of UNOCHA that aims to promote appropriate, timely and quality cash and voucher programming in humanitarian response, so that humanitarian agencies can become more effective at meeting the diverse needs of affected people. In addition, the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion was co-authored by SMI along with other implementing partners in the Philippines.
SMI was also recently granted a principal issuing and acquiring license by Visa, making it the first non-financial institution in the Southeast Asia to receive such. This would allow the issuance of Visa-branded prepaid cards, acquire merchant transactions and offer Visa Direct products and services for domestic and international money transfers. This will be deployed in select growth and emerging markets using PayMaya as vehicle.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We are interoperating with another Mobile Money provider in the Philippines to offer great benefits for the wider ecosystem. This, in turn, will lead to wider adoption, higher transaction volumes and greater velocity of money. This is also aligned to the Central Bank’s mandate to implement a National Retail Payment System.
Which mobile sector is most exciting to you right now?
We are discussing the possibility of implementing MCTP globally with various strategic partners like World Bank, Visa, among others.
Judged by expert panels of international journalists, analysts, academics and VCs, the Meffys provide companies and innovators with an unrivalled opportunity to be considered for the global mobile industry’s top accolades. With categories covering Apps, Consumer Trust, Enterprise, FinTech, mHealth, Mobile-First Markets and Consumer First, the 2015 Meffys reflect the broadening mobile ecosystem. Deadline for entries is 17th July 2015 – get yours in now.