Tapping Into Developing Markets: New Business Call to Action Member Tapp Commerce Oy Brings Financial Inclusion to Southeast Asia

Tapping Into Developing Markets: New Business Call to Action Member Tapp Commerce Oy Brings Financial Inclusion to Southeast Asia

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 9:45am

CONTENT: Press Release

New York/Turku, June 1, 2016 /3BL Media/  – Finland-based e-commerce network Tapp Commerce Oy has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA), with a commitment to integrate 500,000+ micro-entrepreneurs into its value chain and provide 10 million low-income consumers with access to mobile payments for services such as water, electricity and insurance by 2018. To achieve this, the company has pledged to make its TappMarket application available in nine emerging markets throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.

The BCtA is a global initiative that aims to support private sector efforts to fight poverty through its core business; it is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Although there are more mobile phones than bank accounts in the world, cash is still the only available payment method for most people in emerging markets, and hence a majority of the planet. In Southeast Asia alone, formal banks and credit products are a luxury that many people simple cannot afford nor secure. The majority of those living at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BoP) in the region are unable to open formal bank accounts, obtain credit or buy insurance. Without access to the banking sector, it difficult to pay for basic services such as electricity and mobile phone airtime; many are required to travel hours to urban centers for these payments, which incurs additional expense to the consumer.

Founded in Finland in 2013, Tapp Commerce Oy aims to be the world’s leading mobile e-commerce network, connecting the social, mobile and physical spheres across the community. Its inclusive business model allows consumers to purchase previously inaccessible goods and services – and make bill payments – within their neighborhoods and through trusted shopkeepers. By bringing buyers and merchants together, the new TappMarket app is generating opportunities for people at the BoP to become micro-entrepreneurs and incentive them as mobile points of sales in their community; while allowing consumers to locate these sales agents and buy services easily and securely in cash. Customers can even convert cash to a mobile credit to allow for online buying.

According to Warren Sample, CEO of Tapp Commerce Oy, “Other solutions assume that people are ready to change their habits in order to participate in the marketplace. Tapp’s inclusive model connects billions of potential unbanked and under-banked consumers with local merchants by building on existing habits and trust within communities. We believe this model has real potential to democratize commerce, and we are honored that our efforts have been recognized by the Business Call to Action”.

Unlike existing E-commerce solutions, the unique TappMarket app targets consumers whose purchasing power is limited to cash. The system is autonomous of any existing global banking ecosystem: anyone can establish a mobile sales point with just a mobile phone and a small trading balance. Local merchants can use the TappMarket app to sell airtime, insurance, electricity, water, physical goods and other services.

Incorporating micro-entrepreneurs and low-income consumers into its value chain is proving to be a viable model for Tapp Commerce’s growth. Its extensive locally based sales network is giving thousands of micro-entrepreneurs the opportunity to offer much-needed services and generate incomes. And its secure payment-processing platform gives low-income consumers a convenient way to pay for these services. While margins are kept low in order to ensure affordability to BoP consumers, TappMarket’s revenue is derived from its high sales volume.

“The pilot phase of TappMarket has shown the value of this peer to peer product and its potential to improve financial inclusion and access to goods and services to underserved communities in Southeast Asia" said Paula Pelaez, the BCtA’s Programme Manager. “We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with the company”.

Less than a year after its launch in Indonesia, the TappMarket app is already being used by over 28,000 sales agents. During 2016, Tapp Commerce plans to expand into Philippines and introduce a new micro-insurance product. It also aims to enable sales of international products that are not available in local markets. By 2018, the company is expected to create 300 jobs within the company and generate income for 500,000 local sales agents in developing countries.

For more information:

Business Call to Action: Tatiana Bessarabova at tatiana.bessarabova@undp.org 

Tapp Commerce Oy: Heini Saari at heini.saari@tappcommerce.com

Membership in the Business Call to Action does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International DevelopmentUS Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

About Tapp Commerce Oy: Finland-based social enterprise Tapp Commerce Oy has developed a cashless e-commerce marketplace that connects local micro-entrepreneurs with low-income consumers. Its innovative peer-to-peer exchange network allows people without access to bank accounts or credit cards to pay for services such as mobile airtime and electricity. Founded in 2013, the company launched its mobile point-of-sales app TappMarket in Indonesia in 2015. In its first year, the app was used by more than 28,000 sales agents, offering them more consumer opportunities, increased sales volumes and a lower cost of doing business. For low-income consumers, this means greater access to quality goods and services in their local communities. For more information, please visit http://tappcommerce.com on Twitter at @TappCommerce