Business model innovation at the bottom of the pyramid - A case of mobile money agents

J Bus Res. 2021 Apr;127:96-107. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.01.029.


Business models have historically facilitated the ability of firms to create and capture value. Focusing on financial service agents (FSAs) as actors in the Nigerian financial services industry, this study helps to elucidate how value creation and distribution can facilitate business model innovation (BMI) in an emerging market. We deployed Osterwalder and Pigneur's business model canvas alongside Amit and Zott's Sources of Value in e-Business (SVCeB) model in mapping FSA business models and value creation sources. We find that the constant need to align the resources of a firm with the demand conditions at the customer end triggers the need for BMI by FSAs. The findings also demonstrate that FSAs have weak business models that inhibit their sustainability and ultimately impede their ability to play their role in closing the country's financial exclusion gap. We suggest the need for business model innovation by FSAs as a pathway to viability, profitability and sustainability.

Keywords: Business model; Business model innovation; Digital financial services; Financial inclusion; Financial services agents; Nigeria.