The obstacles for a growing business are greatest in the places where there are no well-worn paths to follow; but the opportunities for success are also greatest when forging new routes where others dare not tread. Robert Frost’s “Road Less Traveled” cautions that when two paths appear in the yellow wood, only one can be chosen at that particular moment. Emerging markets present complexity and unique challenges for a growing business seeking to expand its reach outside the safety of home base…but taking the road less traveled in business is the difference between being a bold leader – a market-maker – or being a cautious, but safe, follower.
At MassPay one of our core principles is that increased complexity provides greater opportunity. In our last edition, we noted that modern, connecting technologies provide businesses tools that can be leveraged to expand and support growth. Most businesses pursue strategies that feel safe because human beings – particularly that subspecies known as homo economicus – are naturally risk-averse. MassPay provides a set of tools that give businesses the opportunity to be simultaneously bold, yet confident, because at MassPay we are already going where the opportunities are greatest.
Our constant push to expand payout options into markets that are underserved by traditional banking and/or robust regulatory systems gives businesses a way to pay the adventurers – the content providers, distributors, sellers, network marketers and others – and provide peace of mind that allows those at the leading edges of commerce to keep their head up and their eyes peeled for more opportunities.
Most estimates are that Brazil has 45-55 million unbanked consumers; MasterCard claims that 36 million new accounts were opened in 2020. Latin America remains significantly underbanked or unbanked, yet no one could seriously claim that those markets don’t provide a significant economic opportunity for sellers, platform providers, gig workers, and many others. How will those people get paid where wire transfers simply aren’t the customary means of commerce? Boleto Bancario is far and away the dominant option for Brazilians to receive and money – cash is, after all, still King in many places… which is precisely why MassPay’s network has robust cash-pickup options for payouts in Brazil.
African countries, such as Kenya, have roughly 55% of their population with an SMS-capable mobile phone, yet their unbanked population is even higher, at almost 60% according to a 2017 Global Findex report. The Kenyans are also a highly literate people, 81.54% according to a 2018 report. M-pesa, a popular local payout option in sub-Saharan Africa, did 1.7 billion transactions in a year, according to a June 2019 Miscrosoft report. MassPay has M-pesa as a partner for local payouts in Africa.
India is now closing in on China as the world’s most populous country – 1.39 bn v. 1.41 bn – with an economy that the OECD pegs at 12.6 % growth for the coming year, 2021-2022, making it the fastest growing economy among the G20 nations. J.P. Morgan reports “a forecasted compound annual growth rate of 26.5 percent” for e-commerce, which currently stands at approximately $36.5 billion (US). MassPay has robust local payout options in India and we’re always expanding our “network of networks.”
MassPay continues to pursue partnerships in emerging markets because where the paths are untrod and the challenges are greatest, so are the opportunities. The riches truly are in the niches and MassPay is paving the way for its business partners to expand confidently into those areas.