Diffusion of Electronic Banking Solutions for Financial Inclusion

A major pain point of the banking industry is the challenge of how to penetrate the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), a concept which was popularized by Prahlad [3]. This indeed is a sizeable market, consisting of 2.5 billion people who live on less than US$2.50 per day. Technology is being heralded as a major enabler for the diffusion of banking solutions in this segment, and the same is being brought about by different types of electronic payment systems.

It is interesting to note how in emerging economies, diffusion of these technologies are creating benefits for this segment [4]. No wonder technology vendors and service providers are rallying to get a big pie of this cake and research in this topic has increased significantly [1,2]. However, the risks of fraud and perceived usefulness of these technology are slowing down the diffusion of the same in these economies. Another major barrier is internet penetration, which is significantly low, in developing economies, especially in the rural segments.

However, the development of banking solutions which can be used through Mobile based technologies, can significantly eradicate these problems. The adoption and penetration of mobile phones is significantly larger than internet based technologies. Hence technology giants like IBM and Microsoft are investigating significantly on research, so that mobile payment solutions can be made available to this segment. Some of the major technological advancements which are attempting to address this gap are speech technologies like the spoken web. It would indeed be interesting to see how such technologies can bring about inclusive development in the banking and financial services industry. Indeed the adoption of these technologies can bring about financial inclusion for the general masses by enabling banking solutions for this segment.


  1. Kar, A. (2009). eBusiness Enablement: Implications for Business Strategy. Available at SSRN 1432433.
  2. Kar, A. (2009). The Past, Present and Future of Information Systems Research. Available at SSRN 1366962
  3. Prahalad, C. K., & Hart, S. L. (2002). The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Strategy and Business, 54-54.
  4. Simpson, J. (2002). The impact of the Internet in banking: observations and evidence from developed and emerging markets. Telematics and Informatics, 19(4), 315-330.

Top 100 Business Schools of India – 2012 Rankings

Business Today and Nielsen has published the B-School rankings for 2012, in India. One of the interesting things this ranking has attempted to achieve the balance between “perception overlaps” among “chains of B-Schools”… (like IIMs, IMIs, IMTs, IITs, Symbiosis, ICFAI etc).. and estimate the individual B-School’s actual but relative position, somewhat unaffected by the umbrella brands. Indeed a good and novel way to rank institutes. There were two surveys, one to estimate the perceptive performances of institutes, and another to estimate the factual performances of the institutes.

The factual survey was done first, wherein we sent out a detailed questionnaire across multiple parameters to 1,832 B-schools across the country. Subsequently, after the factual data had come in from these schools, the perceptual survey was started. A separate questionnaire was administered to a group of more than 1,200 stakeholders of the B-school ecosystem, including teachers, students, young executives and HR recruiters. Their opinions are taken again on various aspects relating to the five key parameters – Learning Experience, Living Experience, Return On Investment, Future Orientation and Brand Value and finally a sum of products approach was undertaken and scoring of the institutes was achieved.

Check out the rankings below:


Making the Right Energy Choices Can Benefit Your Business

Whether you’re looking to benefit your company’s bottom line or your overall image, energy and the choices you make pertaining to its use and generation can make a big impact. There are a lot of things businesses can do to be smart about energy use, especially when you consider that most businesses use a lot of energy in comparison to a single residence.

Everything from embracing green energy solutions to conservation programs can help drive down your expenses each month, and you might get some added PR if you let people know what you’re doing.

Start with a conservative mindset

The easiest way to make an impact on your energy expenses each month is to institute a conservation plan. It can be as simple as leaving lights off in areas of the building that aren’t constantly in use, or as aggressive as keeping the air conditioning system a few degrees warmer in the summer. You don’t want to generate a mutiny from your employees, but a few new policies that are easy to follow won’t create too much of a stir.

This conservation can even spread to other areas of the business. Are you using a lot of paper on a daily basis? Maybe it’s time to switch to an all email system for memos. Are you providing Styrofoam cups in the break room? Encourage your employees to bring in their own ceramic mugs to cut down on waste. No matter how small a conservation project is, it will add up.

Consider pursuing green energy solutions

Is your business in an area with a deregulated energy market? If so, going green is easier than you think. Sites like www.texaselectricityproviders.com make it simple to find energy suppliers that offer green energy options. Even if you aren’t located in a deregulated market, there are ways to embrace green energy solutions.

Thanks in part to how affordable green energy technology is today, there are many businesses across the country that lease green energy infrastructure. Depending on the size of your operation, leasing equipment may be more viable than purchasing your own solar array but either way, having onsite infrastructure is a big step.

Onsite green energy infrastructure means that you’ll be actively reducing your business’ energy bills each month, usually at a rate that will allow your investment in the technology to pay for itself within a few years. In terms of PR, having a solar array visible gives your company a bragging point. It shows that you care about your impact, and you’re smart enough to save yourself money on the energy you know your company is going to use. Just think about it.

Other ways to promote energy conservation

If the majority of your workforce drives each day, consider incentivizing the closest parking spots. Designate the best spots for those who carpool or drive hybrid cars. You could even further encourage carpooling by creating a bulletin board where employees can find rideshare opportunities across the business.

In the end, controlling your business’ energy consumption is one of the easiest ways to make a significant impact on your bottom line, and the public’s perception of your company. Consider implementing some of these suggestions, but know that there are plenty of other ways to achieve the same goal.

Cryptography in the Banking Industry

Business Frontiers, Vol. 1, No. 1.

Title: Cryptography in the Banking Industry.

Publication date: Oct, 2012.

Authored by Arpan K Kar, Supriya K Dey



This paper can be cited as follows: Kar, A.K., Dey, S.K. (2012). Cryptography in the Banking Industry. Business Frontiers, 1(1), 1-7.

Abstract: The development of cryptographic techniques has seen a lot of applications in the banking industry. This whitepaper focuses on the review of the major cryptographic techniques which has been used extensively in the banking industry, for the implementation of data security norms and the fulfillment of compliance requirements. While techniques have not been described in details, the focus has been on exploring the business implications of these developments.

To download the whitepaper, please visit this link: Cryptography in the Banking Industry

Keywords: Cryptography, Banking, Security, Finance industry

Business Frontiers is a premium series of refereed open source white-papers on critical emergent issues and classic topics in business and management including but not limited to marketing management, technology management, e-business, finance, economics, human resources, organizational behavior and general management. Articles published as open source white-papers in Business Frontiers are copyrighted using a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Please visit the publication page for more details on Business Frontiers. For submission of original articles for publication, please read the Guide for Authors and the Call for Papers.

7 Ps of Services Marketing – Framework Limitations

The 7 Ps of services marketing is indeed a popular framework used by marketing professionals to design the critical dimensions of the strategic blueprint while marketing a service. The services marketing mix is dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namely Product, Price,  Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. In fact, the 7 P framework is one of the most popular framework for deciding a marketing strategy for services in domains like banking, information technology enabled services or hospitality and tourism, right from strategy formulation to actual implementation.

However, one needs to be aware of the limitations of this framework while applying it in a business context. So in this article, we will discuss some of the major limitations of this services marketing framework.

One of the major drawbacks of the 7 P framework is that it does not address issues related to productivity in terms of both quantity and quality of service delivery. In integral services management, improving productivity during service is a requisite in overall cost management; but quality, as defined by the customer, is essential for a service to differentiate itself from other providers. These two deliverables are essentially opposite to each other in terms of goals. A firm would want to pursue a strategy involving cost minimization but still quality maximization. Hence a strategy that manages trade-off between such conflicting goals is needed to be optimized.

Similarly, another major important issue is managing the core competencies embedded within a firm. Services are essentially intangible in nature, by its very definition. Processes like service delivery address only a small part of the larger cake. Drawing from the resource based view, the organizational competencies are not matched through this framework, which is one of the building pillars of developing strategic frameworks which are external in nature. The viewing of internal resources in silos is somewhat a barrier for this framework, if used to develop an actionable strategy.

Another limitation of this framework is that it does not provide a mapping between the pricing strategies that needs to be followed, vis-a-vis the productivized version of the service. That mapping is often one of the most important drivers that can create or break the adoption of a service. A mapping of pricing to the critical dimensions (features) of the productivized service draws its theories from the pricing of services, which are often done in silos, since dimensions cannot be identified which are in unision but not over-lapping to the main delivery. Over-lapping dimensions create a perception of fluctuating utility among the consumers, and since these are intangible, the overall valuation of the importance and value of a service, gets impacted in a major way.

Understanding the limitations of any theoretical framework before applying it to practical scenarios is crucial for the success of the strategic plan. Please let us know, what you feel about this article. By the way, did you read about the 8 Ps of marketing, the new age marketing mix?

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