Deadline: 13 May 2015
Grand Challenges in Global Health is seeking novel solutions that promote adoption and use of mobile payments (or digital transactions) by merchants that serve those living on less than $2 USD a day in developing regions.
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Examples of merchants include:
- Individual merchants that provide goods and services such as produce and airtime
- Shops and points of sale, from small vendors up to and including super-market chains
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- Devices: Apply or create new technology for exchange of mobile/digital funds at the time of sale.
- Software: Apply or create software and/or applications that enable mobile transactions by merchants.
- Business models: Develop alternative business and market models and/or processes that meet the needs of sellers as they transact.
Preference will be given to solutions that support the following objectives:
- Scalable, easy to use, interoperable (solutions should enable mobile payments between buyers and sellers that choose to use competing mobile money providers), reliable, low cost, secure, portable coverage (users should be able to take their mobile financial service history and mobile funds with them when moving between providers) and transparent.
- Relevant to the cultural and regulatory context in one of the following 8 countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania or Uganda.
A few examples of work that would be considered for funding:
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- Novel methods that incentivize merchants to accept digital transactions.
- Novel devices that enable fast, secure and accurate transactions by people who are illiterate.
- Novel practices or technologies that enable merchants to make and accept real time transactions at time of purchase in environments with limited or intermittent service connectivity.
- Business models that enable merchants to make extremely affordable transactions on robust, secure, commercial-quality infrastructure.
- Novel practices or technologies that allow sellers to easily understand, communicate and respond to fees at the time of payment processing.
- Novel practices or technologies with low or zero new investment and usage cost that promote viral adoption of mobile financial services among small sellers.
Funding will not be considered for:
- Ideas that are not merchant focused. This includes ideas that address mobile money adoption generally and don’t have a specific focus on adoption by merchants serving the poor.
- Ideas in which the mobile money solution could be viewed as ancillary to the focus of the project. For example, ideas that focus on the implementation of a mobile healthcare device for providers and the ability to transact would be a secondary value-add.
- Ideas that are unrealistic and/or unsustainable.
- Projects that do not clearly consider the current context of available financial systems and infrastructure for the poor. For example, ideas that require expensive devices.
- Solutions to sign up a large number of merchants to accept mobile payments without a realistic approach to provide sustained support to those merchants.
- Ideas that have a limited or unrealistic path to broad use, including those that rely on long-term financial subsidies.
- Ideas that simply replicate or repackage payment processes and ideas from developed countries.
- Approaches that present significant data safety risks, relative to the risks inherent in developed world mobile payment systems.
For more information about this challenge, please visit Grand Challenge Merchant.
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