Archive for January, 2011

Mobile Banking

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
By Chester Ng, Sales Director (Southeast Asia)

After selling livestock or milk in local markets, Maasai herdsman living in the Serengeti Plains of Kenya, used to return home with cash in their pockets, which might sound nice but also meant they were walking targets for theft. No more. Thanks to a mobile banking service, a herdsman’s customers now transfer payment direct to the seller’s account.

Kenyans in the city, meanwhile, are using the same service to pay for transport. But as a BBC reporter points out, try to do this in London, New York or Hong Kong or Singapore, for that matter, and you’ll likely “find yourself with a very upset cab driver”.

At BuzzCity, we’ve noticed an increasing number of banks and financial institutions using mobile advertising to share information and promote services. But very few have actually introduced full-service m-banking. This is going to change. And as it does, there are a number of things that banks need to keep in mind . . . .

It’s not actually that surprising that a nation like Kenya is at the forefront of m-banking. From mobile advertising to social networks, we’ve seen developing markets – where most consumers do not have access to computers – leading the way in so many areas of the mobile internet.

In Kenya, the company offering “branchless mobile banking” is called M-PESA. Over half the country’s adult population uses the service to pay for shopping or utility bills, wire money to relatives or simply take a taxi home. Safaricom, the company behind M-PESA, also offers interest-paying mobile bank accounts, micro-credit and micro-insurance policies.

Standard Bank in South Africa is another good reference point as are Standard Chartered Bank‘s southeast Asia operations in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Consumers can use their phones to check their bank account balance, manage credit cards or loans, pay bills, transfer money between accounts and more. However consumers are often required to register first from a PC before they being able to bank with a phone.

Other banks are experimenting with mobile and using it for customer service, branding, sales and marketing.  Others like Citibank India run lead generation campaigns: “Live your dreams” with a personal loan, says the Citibank banner ad. Consumers are taken from there to an online form. Bank employees follow up manually with a phone call.

Some banks are using mobile to help consumers locate the nearest ATM. Or take the case of BCA Indonesia, which has a cross-promotional campaign with a telecom provider. BCA wants consumers to use the bank when they top up or buy pre-paid mobile cards.

As financial institutions embrace mobile as a distinct channel — not just a supplement to PC banking –their number one challenge is the same as they faced when first rolling out online banking: Consumer Confidence.

If consumers don’t trust a service, if they don’t feel one hundred percent confident that their money is safe, they won’t use it.

So here are four tips:

1. Understand Your Local Mobile Market

How will your clients interact with the service? Do their mobile devices have GPRS, 3G, USSD? Do they use applications? A good resource to answer questions like these is the BuzzCity Campaign Planner, which has up-to-date data on over 200 markets.

2. Get the Product Design Right

The service needs to be intuitive and easy to use. From registration to payments to query resolutions, the platform should be friendly and efficent.

3. You Only Get One Chance

Customers who are unsuccessful in a mobile banking attempt will generally not try again. When a new service launches, banks need to get it right the first time.

4. Consumer Education is Key

Banks need to use a variety of channels to continually educate consumers and boost confidence. Messaging should focus on product awareness, ease of use and banking security.

When done right, mobile banking can create and grow new markets, enabling consumers in a variety of settings to save money and pay bills and in the process create value in communities as far-flung as the Kenyan Maasai and Indonesian commuters.

Notes: Hawa Omar, BuzzCity’s Sales Director in South Africa, contributed to this article. The photo of the Maasai man is from the BBC clip, “The Maasai Go Mobile”, which you can watch here.

Categories: case study, Chester Ng

Visit Us in Barcelona

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment
We started touring early this year and will be in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress. 

Our colleagues from offices in Singapore and Paris will be on hand (Stand 7E47) to meet with partners.

We look forward to meeting up with you!

As we have a soft spot for Indie musicians, we’d like to throw in a plug for Metric who will be performing at the Congress Party and Awards celebration.  If you are travelling in Spain before or after MWC, you might want to check out JAMsked for live music in Spain.

Categories: Tours

Mobile Advertising Index (Q4 2010)

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment
2010 saw a huge growth of the mobile internet as more users took advantage of cheaper data rates and much improved handsets. Our ad network grew by over 90% compared to 2009 and advertiser campaigns have also increased.

More than 2500 advertisers ran campaigns and increased their expenditure in several key markets.

India continued on its growth curve – in Q4 more than four billion ads were delivered to Indian audiences – and for the first time outpaced Indonesia to secure the number one spot.

The top 5 most active countries in Q4 were:

  1. India : 4 billion impressions served
  2. Indonesia : 3.0 billion impressions served
  3. United States : 1.1 billion impressions served
  4. South Africa : 0.9 billion impressions served
  5. Kenya : 0.5 billion impressions served.

To view the report in full, please visit the Reports section of the BuzzCity website.

Categories: report

Shoprite, Shop Right!

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

By Hawa Omar, Sales Director, South Africa

Whether you want to buy an iron, a birthday present for your nephew, a bus ticket, haircare products or meat for the braai, Shoprite has it all and usually at a good price. With over 1000 outlets in South Africa, Shoprite is South Africa’s largest supermarket chain. The company, which also has 36 stores in twelve more African countries, focuses on turnover and targets middle-income consumers.

And like a growing number of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) businesses, the South African superstore has begun promoting its goods on the mobile internet with banner ads and interactive pages.

FMCGs, in general though, are not making the most of mobile. CEOs need to take a step back and look at how internet giants like Amazon grew their online communities and markets, then adapt these lessons for the unwired.

Mobile advertising these days is a no-brainer. There are more than 500 million mobile subscribers in Africa alone. And on my continent, mobile long ago passed PCs as the most popular way of accessing the internet. So it’s no wonder that Shoprite turned to mobile marketer Yonder Media to design a Christmas-time promotion.

Yonder worked with Shoprite to design a mobile campaign that placed banners across most content channels five days a week. The banners link to an online mobile catalogue.

The first thing a consumer needs to do, after reaching Shoprite’s mobile landing page, is select which province she’s from. This gets her through the front door and enables the system to share the most relevant promotions with her. It also provides Shoprite with information about where the clicks are coming from.

In addition to the online catalogue of promotions, the site also encourages consumers to register for SMS updates and refer friends.

Shoprite is pleased with the campaign’s ROI. Mobile ads are cost-effective and Shoprite’s banner received 10,000 clicks in less than a month.

But if FMCGs like Shoprite are going to take their campaigns to the next stage, if they are going to truly unleash the power of mobile, they need to do more. They need to create communities and enable mobile sales. The architecture exists. It’s time for companies to make use of it, while keeping in mind these key consumer touch points:


Successful e-commerce sites like Amazon have thrived not just by establishing an efficient order fulfillment mechanism, but by creating customer-generated content, such as reviews, around the products they sell. Going forward, the retailers who perform best will be companies that enable consumers to rate products, make recommendations, share recipes etc. in the mobile space.


FMCGs have long cultivated consumer loyalty through a variety of programmes. These can now be consolidated into the mobile space. For example, there’s no longer a need for physical loyalty cards, when mobile phones – and personalised mobile services – can take their place.


Forget the Sunday newspaper supplements. Yes, discounts attract consumers and generate sales. But virtual coupons and discount codes can now be sent to registered members by SMS and placed on mobile websites. Mobile devices can capture, manage and redeem coupons and discounts.


Enable consumers who visit your mobile website to create shopping lists that they can later access when in the store. If the shopping list can provide details on which aisle and row to find a product, even better.


Mobile phones can make payments now anywhere, anytime. And in many African countries, there are now more consumers who use phones as a banking device than there are consumers with bank accounts. Retailers should start letting consumers pay with their phones, in advance or at checkout counters.

Consumers are in a fundamentally different position today thanks to the mobile internet. With phones, they can browse, bank, shop, socialize, buy and trade.

FMCGs have begun to tap on phones to advertise, collect data and share information about products. It’s time for them to take the next step.

Categories: case study, Hawa Omar

Spreading The Word with QR Codes.

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Nothing beats a great live show ! It’s not just good fun for all, but on the business side, gigs are also a base from which musicians sell their CDs, T-shirts and other merchandise. The key, of course, is presence and QR codes are a good way to spread the news of your upcoming gigs. 

A QR code is a matrix barcode that is readable by most camera phones. These codes can be used to store all sorts of information including a link to your concert appearances. A QR code (printed on posters, CD covers etc) acts as a hard link from these physical objects directly to your online presence. 

Urbandub Live!

So here’s what we’ve done to help bands spread the word about their gigs. JamSked now provides each band with their own QR code that links back to their gig listings on JamSked. 

To get your band’s QR code

  1. Go to and login. (New partners will first need to complete a registration.)
  2. To get your band’s QR code, Click on Artist List  (or Gigs List, Venue List where relevant )
  3. Copy the QR code image and save it for later use.
  4. This image can be printed on you posters, name cards, CD covers, web site. etc. 

When a fan scans the code, from say, an album cover he will be directed to a page on JamSked that lists your latest stage appearances (if there aren’t gigs any listed, it probably means you haven’t updated your entries). The QR code can appear anywhere an image is permitted (eg TV, Video,) and if included in your next print run, it is not likely to cost you any more money. Even a relatively small image (below) works just as well.

The code is unique to you and always directs users to a page that lists your most up-to-date gigs. It’s easy to check too – just scan it with your camera phone.

Gigs @
Hard Rock

The QR code is also perfect for our venue partners! You will find your code when you click on Venue List after you’ve logged in.  When scanned, the code opens a browser and takes users to a page that lists upcoming gigs, your address and any other info about your venue that you entered. 

Your code is an excellent supplement to the marketing collateral you distribute off-site as it directs users to the most up-to-date information about the events you host.

Categories: JamSked

BuzzCity Tours: Jan 2011

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

The new year is off to a great start with our team attending events in Europe, Middle East and Asia such as the highly anticipated BlackBerry® Developer Conference Asia in Bali, Indonesia (13th – 14th Jan) which was mentioned in the previous blog post.

Below in an update of the other events our team members will be attending:

  • Michael will be attending the Social Media Marketing Conference (17-18 Jan) in Singapore where he will be on hand to assist with your enquiries and share the latest from our network.
  • KF and Manish will be attending the Click Asia Summit 2011 (20-22 Jan) in Mumbai, India. KF will be speaking at the event on the topic ‘Mobile Marketing Challenges in Asia and How to Fix it’.
  • In Bangkok, Thailand, Michael and Suttiporn will be attending the 6th Annual Prepaid Mobile Summit 2011 (25-26 Jan). Michael will be speaking on the panel on 26th Jan on the topic of M-Commerce.
  • Our ‘Djuzz’ man Je will be attending in the Mobile Games Forum 2011 (26-27 Jan) in London, UK where he will be networking with industry experts from the gaming industry and sharing the latest developments at ‘Djuzz’.

Feel free to email feedback[at] to arrange a meeting with any of our colleagues at these events.

Categories: Tours