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The term innovation refers to the process of generating a new idea and implementing it to produce a new product, service or a process which is geared to improve any economy through employment creation and profit generation. Innovation process consists of both major changes referred to as radical innovation and minor changes called incremental innovation (Urabe, Child & Kagono, 1988). In this essay we create an innovative mobile money transfer service which does not use any financial institution such as a bank. This innovation is explained through various sections of the essay.
There has been increasing population across the globe which has led to increased pressure on the available resources. This means that competition to earn a living has given rise poor individuals who cannot access financial services offered by established financial institutions. Thus there is limited access to financial services across the world as shown by World Bank statistical estimates. For instance, in Mexico an estimated three quarters of the adult population has no bank account or any dealings with a financial institution (De LA Torre, Gozzi & Schumukler, 2007).
On the other hand, there has been a high penetration and usage of mobile phones across the entire global population. There are high chances of low income individuals to own mobile phones than have bank accounts. According to United Nations Publications (2007), there has been high rate of mobile phone penetration in developing countries up to 80 percent and in some developed countries even exceeding 100 percent. This means that the use of mobile phones to provide financial services can reach a huge population and resolve the problem of access to financial institutions. Moreover, the innovation creates an opportunity for mobile service providers and business partners to tap the potential profits arising from the service as well as creating new employment opportunities.
This innovation is important to my personal career advancement in the telecommunication industry. Also, I will benefit financially from the royalties developed from the innovation which the organization will remit directly to my account on annual basis. The financial strength and referrals will give me an opportunity to undertake further creative projects that will improve the economic conditions of my community. Moreover, the success of this project is very important in resolving the problems of the low income individuals and will put my innovative skills in the history books to be remembered.
As for my organization, which is a mobile service provider, it will stand to gain even a lot more in the success this innovation. Firstly, it will increase its revenues through the income charged for the new innovated service. Secondly, it will increase employment opportunities to the local communities through increased business and as such improve company's corporate image. In addition, the service will attract more subscribers from competitors who do not offer mobile financial services. Moreover, the success of the innovation requires the strengthening of the organization's infrastructure which will result in unrivaled network strength in the industry.
Impact on Results
The organization's results will improve by the successful implementation of this innovative mobile financial service. The current basic services offered by the mobile service provider include; voice, short message sending and data services. This means that this innovation brings a totally new line of service provision adding to its current results. The revenue annual performance results of the organization will be expected to improve as a result of the innovation. The specific areas of improvement include; amount of revenue, number of employees, corporate social responsibility, total assets and corporate brand name. These improvements will result out of increased business from the innovative service.
The Mobile Money Transfer Service
This is the intended innovation to be developed and implemented through a mobile service provider across its entire network. The innovation uses the technology which allows a mobile phone user to deposit, withdraw, sent, pay bills or buy airtime using the cash deposited in the mobile phone account. This service does not need an internet connection but rather the network coverage of the mobile service provider. The mobile service provider recruits agents across the entire area of coverage to receive deposits and make payments on withdrawals. This will mean that the actual money will be with the several agents.
The mobile phone owner will be registered with the mobile service provider with their full identification details. On registration, their mobile phone "SIM" cards are updated with the new menu of the financial service. This menu will have options for an individual to send money to another mobile owner, withdraw cash, buy airtime, to pay bills and checking account balances. Once the person chooses an option it will guide them through the process of entering the agent numbers or mobile numbers to carry out transactions. Just before any transaction is completed the system would request for confirmation and personal identification number to ensure high security. Thereafter a confirmation text message is received at the end of every transaction with the provision of specific code to be used for future reference.
A customer will be able to deposit the money with any of the available agents and receive a confirmation text of the updated account balance. The deposited amount reflected in the phone could be transferred to another phone or used in the payment of bills or airtime. The same can be withdrawn from any agent. The customer would confirm first at an agent whether they can withdraw a specific amount and if so they proceed to withdraw through that specific agent by entering their agent numbers. The amount will then be deducted from their balances and the agent pays the said cash amount. This means that the technology used has a balancing effect in which all agents will be having their balances increased after every withdrawal and reduced after every deposit.
The proposed charges to the customer will be deducted directly from their account balances by the service provider. The charges on withdrawal depend on the amounts involved with the higher amounts attracting higher charges and the lower attracting lower costs respectively. Moreover, a fixed charge is made on any transfer to another phone number or when used to pay a bill irrespective of the amount. The mobile service provider will then pay the agents on commission basis on the number of transactions facilitated. In addition, the service provider will pay any royalties on the copyrights of the innovation and retain its profit margin. This system of transfer does not need the customer to have any bank account although the individual agents or service provider may have their bank accounts to handle their huge amounts of money.
The innovation can transfer any amounts of money in which all transactions will be password protected. Moreover, proper identification documents must be used by customers whenever depositing or withdrawing their money. This innovation can be improved further by developing a system that allows the money transfer across several mobile service providers. This will ensure that it can be utilized across the entire economy without locking customers into a single network.
Creating Customer Value
The innovation will create customer value by bringing financial services close to their daily places of operation through extensive network of agents. The customer will not have to travel looking for a bank but rather deposit or make withdrawal at the comfort of their locality. Those customers who are working in urban regions will comfortably remit their amounts to support their families in the rural areas instantly trough their phones. Thus the customer will benefit from quick service that will enable them to make emergency payments without the need to travel. Moreover, the customer gains value in the security of not carrying liquid cash but rather secured secretly in their phones. Furthermore, the innovative can be linked to the banks that allow those customers with bank accounts to make payments from their phones into their accounts and vice-versa. This will improve customer value by removing the time spent in the banking halls while making deposits or withdrawals. These value creations and several others will attract new customers while retaining the existing once which ultimately improves the organization's results.
The process of implementation of an innovation of this kind calls for partnership between the mobile service provider and agents. The process will begin by sharing of the innovative idea and allowing any improvements throughout the entire implementation process. The plan should be written down and followed through the entire process. This innovation will be modified to ensure that the entire staff of the organization shares the importance of the implementation of the idea. The entire staff will be allowed to take part in decision making which is most effective in implementing an innovation. During the process of implementation the communication should be made regularly to ensure that all functions are carried out flawlessly (Forsyth, Jolliffe & Stevens, 1999).
The initial stage will involve training of the organization's staff on the functioning of the innovation. After the staff has understood, the recruitment and training of agents is carried out. The trained agents will use own investment to build their service stations which are branded by the organization. The agents will be required to deposit specific amount of money with the organization on signing of the agency contract. The training will be ongoing to enable agents obtain additional skills through the entire service utilization. The training should be adapted to suit agents from diverse backgrounds (Forsyth et al., 1999). The company will then invest in an advertising campaign which invites its customers to register while providing all the terms and conditions attached to the service. This user education is expected to go on for sometime up to the time when the penetration of the service is satisfactory.
Measuring the Impact
The important part of measuring the impact of an innovation is through constant evaluation. Since it is a complex technology based innovation, it requires a multifaceted approach in its evaluation (Kelly & Lesh, 2000). We shall collect responses from customers on a continual basis to establish whether their requirements are met by the service. In addition, we shall audit the several transactions on a continual basis to check if they meet the set standards. Moreover, we shall monitor the organizations revenue from the project to see whether it is actually improving the results.
For an effective achievement of this innovation's objectives, the organization should engage experts to carry out careful examination and honestly provide its outcomes, its benefits, possible difficulties and the ease of adoption (Kelly & Lesh, 2000). It is an important process to measure the impact of the innovation on the customers as well as the organization.
Reflection on Learning
During the process of developing the innovation, several lessons are learnt. The first thing is that an innovation is not an easy task and requires a lot of intelligent thinking. In addition, one should be ready to take risk in implementation of an innovation while being cautious to identify any flaws at a reasonable time. Moreover, it is important to engage third parties in an implementation to ensure that any oversight ideas are captured and incorporated (Forsyth et al., 1999). Furthermore, I learnt that it is a very expensive process to implement a new innovation because a lot of investment goes to the implementation process.
The process of innovation is important in improvement of economies as well as solving several humanity problems. This means that whenever an innovation is created, there are business opportunities that arise as well as the need for people to solve their existing problems (Urabe et al., 1988). Therefore innovation is the best strategy that an organization can utilize to remain competitive in its business industry and economy at large.