Digital Money S.A.G.E.

Powered by our proprietary Start Anywhere, Go Everywhere technology, the Shift Thought™ community continually monitors and analyses digital money markets, to offer actionable insights to practitioners around the world.

Digital Money S.A.G.E.

Having contributed to the development of Digital Money in various capacities and parts of the ecosystem, we describe the current transformation as the Third wave, where it is important to support cross-channel, cross-service convergent digital wallets. Although mobile is a key enabler to effect this move, we argue that it is preferable to create a larger vision than around mobile alone.

Payments emerges from the Backroom to Drive Marketing

The adoption of digital money will for the first time create certain opportunities that we believe mobile operators could gear up for, and if addressed will reposition and benefit them in Get, Keep, Grow activities. On the other hand, if unaddressed these same trends could pose threats and risks to and may mean that Reactive and Defensive Management is required, with significantly more cost and less asset creation.

We monitor more than 32 services in-depth across 207 markets around the world, with special emphasis on business models, SWOT analysis of players and disruptive analysis.


As digital money takes off around the world, stimulated by access to new channels such as mobile, it is important to recognise the different "shape" this takes in each country and region of the world.

Regulations in each country have an important impact on which players are allowed to launch services, which in turn influences partnering strategies. Where mobile operators find it difficult to lead in mobile financial services, they may acquire or take stakes in banks.

Regulatory Environment

The enabling and regulatory environment consists of the bank and non-bank regulations and policies that influence the provision of financial services such as remittances and the opportunity to cross-sell other services.

Mobile financial services may be affected by Telecoms Regulations as well as Financial Regulations.


Shift Thought tracks knowledge relating to Digital Money under the following main heads:

  • Access : What access do people have to bank branches, ATMs, Internet, Mobile and other channels?
  • Banking : What are the innovative approaches Banks are taking towards Digital Money?
  • Compliance : An overview of the major regulatory compliance related areas
  • Currency : Currency profiles and Foreign Exchange related knowledge
  • Legal : Legal related topics such as Licensing and Registration, Exclusivity and more
  • Marketing : This covers topics such as Pricing and Loyalty
  • New Products : This includes products such as Prepaid and adjacent areas such as Mobile Health
  • Operations : A wide topic that covers Cash In-Cash Out, Fraud, Security and more
  • Payments : This includes Bill Payments, Mobile Payment, Online Payment and more
  • Players : A variety of topics relating to the incumbent players as well as new entrants
  • Regulatory: This covers topics such as Authorised Entities, recent regulatory changes, and various restrictions and limits to services
  • Technology : As new technologies drive innovations in Digital Money, this area includes deep analysis and insights into areas such as NFC, NSDT and various mobile, web and emergent technologies.

A number of important areas are covered under each of the above heads.


Digital Money includes a wide variety of innovative financial services such as :

  • The Digital Wallet
  • Mobile Money
  • Mobile Wallets
  • Money Transfer and Remittances
  • Online Payment
  • Mobile Payment, local and remote
  • Branchless Banking
  • Bill Payment


For consumer adoption and merchant interest, new products and services must address real needs in the market. This is largely related to access that the market has through various channels. We monitor market access levels, cost structure and innovations across a variety of channels including mobile, web, POS, Retail and Voice.

Too often we find that use of terminology is confusing or incorrect when it comes to digital money services - For example should you consider mobile money transfer to be a channel, a product or a class of trade, where you make use of mobile operator top-up networks as agents for financial services. To clarify this, we have created the Shift Thought Analysis framework which you can use to describe your new products and services or track what the competition is offering.

Class of Trade

The Digital Money space has become an interesting battleground in which most of the industries seem to have a direct or indirect interest. Our research and market analysis shows how brands are being built and indeed stand to be broken by what is happening in this area.

The spread of mobile has resulted in mobile operators around the world playing an active role in this space. Banks had earlier been complemented by the work of Money Transfer Organisations, but both have been vary of new entrants competing with brand new business models.

Google entered this space in May 2011, and soon after merged the Google Wallet with Google Checkout. Visa launched V.Me, divorced from its other bank-anchored products.

Whilst regulations determine the kinds of licenses and entry barriers for the leading player, they also affect who is allowed to be agents for these players.

Market Segments

Every well-thought out digital money initiative must have the customer at the centre.

The rise of the smartphone increasingly fragments the segments one can address and the ways to address them. Good old SMS is available all over the world, but currently NFC is supported by only around 1% of the handsets.

Click on the elements of the map below to explore the Digital Money ecosystem using the S.A.G.E technology

Digital Money Ecosystem Digital Money Initiatives Where in the world What are the services For whom is this meant Who is doing what How are they built Geographies Regulatory Environment Payment Systems Channels Products COT Needs Segments Mobile operators Banks PO Payment Retail Groups Cash Network Architectures Technologies Countries Economic Zones Regions Rules Regulations Regulators

The digital money ecosystem is a vast and complex web of rich and intricately related information. The global digital money ecosystem is complex and rapidly evolving. The Start Anywhere, Go Everywhere (S.A.G.E) technology enables the harvesting, updating, linking and exploration of information in this dynamic and exploding ecosystem.

Powered by our proprietary Start Anywhere, Go Everywhere technology, we continually monitor and analyse digital money markets, initiatives, players and partnerships across multiple payment services, located in over 200 countries and territories, from multiple perspectives and on a variety of parameters.

Profiles: 7,946 News Items | 3,713 Players | 2,222 Initiatives | 283 Markets | 105 Products | 108 Topics

Using S.A.G.E, this portal provides pages consisting of:

  • Catalogs of information elements (usually in the form of tables). Click on the links to reach the information elements themselves. These can be accessed through the S.A.G.E item on menu bar
  • Information elements themselves, the content of which is shown in accordion panels and tabs. These can be accessed through the catalogs or through links appearing on related information elements.
    Of special interest is the Network tab available on most such pages, that displays the immediate context of the information element you are exploring. Clicking on elements in the network leads you to the appropriate page. This is a good way to explore the ecosystem
  • Analytic information in the form of charts and lists. This can be accessed through the Dashboard item on the menu bar
  • Digital Money Initiatives classified in different ways. This can be accessed through the Initiatives item on the menu bar
  • News which can be accessed through the Research menu item. News items have associated Tags that link the related information elements. This is often a good way of understanding the context of that news

Note: Content may be restricted depending upon your level of subscription

You can also use the Search box at the top of the page or in individual tables to find information elements

10 thoughts on “SAGE

  1. This a really extensive compilation of the digital money space – very useful to those who want to delve into the ecosystem, whether as existing players in the industry, as potential entrants, or policy makers.
    Link to page

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.