The appointment came after a competitive pitch, called in January, which included BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and Lowe. The contract of the integrated account was made in March and will see JWT Vietnam developing the launch and ongoing strategy and communication.
Saby Mishra, CEO of JWT Vietnam, said MoMo is about financial inclusion of the poor and it is a game changer for markets like Vietnam, where the number of mobile phone owners far exceeds the number of people with bank accounts.
The country has a 130 per cent mobile penetration. However, there are 12 million people living on less than 40 cents a day and a total of 80 per cent of its population lack access to financial services.
Mishra said the challenge lies in educating the target audience, which is made up of low income consumers, including rural and urban migrants who don’t have bank account to send money back home.
“Communications have to be simple and compelling, because they are not sophisticated consumers,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “The message has to be clear and persuasive so that they can understand and act to subscribe to the service.”
He noted that the communication is targeted at both the receiver and sender, for them to understand that MoMo allows them to send money as easily as they would send an SMS.
M_Service is set up by Vinaphone, in association with commercial bank Vietcombank. MoMo was officially launched by Vinaphone in 2010 for bank customers only. Under new regulations recently issued by the State Bank of Vietnam, MoMo will be relaunched to serve unbanked or underbanked customers living in rural areas.
Nguyen Ba Diep, CEO of M_Servive JSC Vietnam, noted that its ambition is to provide low-income customers living in rural areas with a convenient way to access payment services through their mobile phones.
“The JWT team clearly stood out with their insightful understanding of brand adoption among low-income consumers, and in demonstrating to us how to sell our new concept to the unbanked masses,” he added.
Tom Doctoroff, CEO of JWT Asia-Pacific, meanwhile said the best thing about the win was that the agency was given an opportunity to transform the lives of local consumers.
Mobile money allows consumers to store and transfer money, pay utility bills and top up their mobile phones. It performs as an extension of the banking system, which is critical in developing markets with large rural populations.
Through this service, sending money can be as simple as sending an SMS text message. The mobile money concept came out of the Philippines in 2001 and was later launched in Kenya, where mobile money is now used by 70 per cent of the adult population and has become a driving force for the economy.