On May 26th we invited some representatives from the press to the launch of the next phase of our Mobenzi pilot project in KwaNyuswa (Valley of a thousand hills, KZN).
During our two week trial run in December 2009, agents had completed Mobenzi tasks using our company owned phones, under supervision and together at a central location. Since May 26th however, a group of agents have been working independently as private contractors to Mobenzi.
These are some of the major factors that make the launch of this phase of the pilot a significant step forward.
- Agents are now working in their own time, requesting batches of tasks whenever they have a few minutes spare.
- They complete tasks while at home, travelling on public transport or even between lectures at college.
- Most of the agents are using their own mobile phones after having installed the Mobenzi application from a link we sent to them.
- With each task that agent’s complete, associated credit is built up in their account. Once credit reaches a certain thresh-hold, funds are disbursed electronically to their phones using FNB’s SendMoney platform. Although some agents had to borrow our company phones, many have already earned enough income from Mobenzi to purchase their own, brand new compatible Nokia phones.
These changes in the way the pilot is being run are allowing us to test the scalability of the concept. We can now manage recruitment of new agents, assignment of tasks, monitoring of quality and disbursement of funds all from our central office.
With this platform in place, it is only the demand from businesses for the services of our agents that will slow the growth of Mobenzi.