Evidently enough, the development of contemporary technologies continues to have a vast impact on nearly every sphere of the life of modern society. Throughout the world, the use of mobile services and the Internet is steadily increasing, which implies the extension of opportunities for the development of various business industries. In particular, the influence of modern telecommunication technologies on activities related to the economic sphere could hardly be overlooked.
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Accordingly, the combination of the aforementioned facts led to the emergence of such phenomenon as mobile financial services. Essentially, these services allow their users to perform various tasks such as payments and transactions directly from their mobile devices. Due to the set of different factors, which will be discussed later in the paper, the implementation of mobile financial services appears to be a very promising direction of development for contemporary telecommunication companies.
The overall purpose of this paper is to develop a proposal for the implementation of mobile financial services in “Azercell Telecom” LLC, one of the largest providers of telecommunication in Azerbaijan. The paper aims to discuss several principal aspects of the development of the project, including the observation of the background and research objectives of the project, research methodology, expected results, and other important factors. Thus, the author will ensure that the project is feasible and that its implementation would likely to have positive long-term outcomes.
Background Information Leading to the Issue
First of all, it is essential to discuss the background information that is highly relevant to the understanding of the project’s significance. Thus, further reasoning will be put in the proper context. As it was already mentioned in the introduction, mobile financial services (MFS) have an increasingly vast popularity and applicability across the world. There are several factors that contribute to the current increase in the use of these instruments.
Primarily, as it is the case with the majority of customer and business-oriented services, contemporary banking systems are working towards the digitalization of their facilities in order to create the best experience for their customers (Dennehy & Sammon, 2015). Secondly, the increasing number of people across the world use mobile phones (Dennehy & Sammon, 2015). Particularly, there is a tendency, which developed within the recent decade, that individual’s mobile devices serve not merely as the tool for phoning and sending text messages, but as the instrument that allows performing a vast set of different tasks (Humbani & Wiese, 2018). Accordingly, payments and transactions from mobile devices are within the direction in which the majority of contemporary financial systems are working toward.
However, the provision of mobile financial services is not restricted to the use of mobile applications that are connected to the customer’s bank account (Neudert, Ruehs, & Beckmann, 2015). The industry of various e-wallets and e-payments that are not directly connected to the banking systems (or not connected to them at all) is rapidly growing nowadays (Dennehy & Sammon, 2015). For example, such services gain significant popularity in countries where banking facilities and payment options are not diversified enough or do not have sufficient coverage throughout the country (Agwu & Carter, 2014).
Another factor that has a large influence on the current popularity of mobile financial services throughout the world is the aftermath of the global financial crisis (Humbani & Wiese, 2018). Due to its vast negative impact on the world economy and the banking system in particular, numerous people tend to perceive banks as a less reliable tool for storing and operating their finances (Xu & Zia, 2012). Additionally, the emergence of various cryptocurrencies, most notably, Bitcoin, also drives many companies to implement MFS.
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Therefore, it is possible to state with certainty that mobile financial services are among the most rapidly growing industries in the contemporary economy (Alguliyev & Aliyev, 2015). This section exemplifies several principal factors that influence the increasing popularity of this payment method. In general, it could be observed that the sphere of technology under consideration is highly perspective in terms of the potential number of users and, accordingly, revenues that could be gained from the implementation of the technology.
The Relevance of the Mobile Financial Services in the Context of Azerbaijan
In addition to the facts identified in the previous subsection, it is also of high importance to discuss the relevance of the mobile financial services implementation in the context of Azerbaijan. Primarily, the population of the country is widely using cellphones and other mobile devices in their everyday life (Imanzade, Zeynalov, & Hasanov, 2017). However, the most important factor that should be considered is the impact of the global financial crisis.
Even before the outbreak of the crisis, the government of Azerbaijan was working on the legislation that would regulate the implementation of financial services outside the traditional banking system. In other words, the government assumed that there is an evident need to extend the opportunity for non-banking companies and businesses to provide financial services as well. However, when the crisis struck Azerbaijan in 2015, the drafting of the mentioned bill was suspended due to the fact that the government had to deal with more serious problems.
Nevertheless, as of now, the economic situation in Azerbaijan has stabilized, and the government decided to reanimate the bill and put it back to the drafting stage. Moreover, it is possible to notice that the overall conditions in the economy of the country allow implementing mobile financial services with great success and efficiency (Karimov & Imrani, 2015).
Brief Description of the Project
Two previous subsections provided an extended explanation of the reasons for the current popularity of mobile financial services, both in the context of the international economy and Azerbaijan in particular. It is apparent that numerous factors drive people to use such methods, and altogether combined, they create an favoring opportunity for the implementation of the mobile financial services in Azerbaijan (“Enhancing financial capability,” 2017). Accordingly, in spite of the mentioned factors and the overall importance of the MFS as an effective economic tool, it is possible to move the discussion to the observation of the projects and its primary scope.
As it was already mentioned, the new Financial Market Supervisory Authority decided to reanimate the bill about the implementation of mobile financial services outside the banking system. “Azercell Telecom” LLC, the company in which I am currently working, was requested to take part in the drafting of the bill. Particularly, I was assigned by the CEO of the company as an official representative of “Azercell Telecom” LLC in this project. It is strongly believed that the implementation of this bill will have a vast positive impact on the overall economic situation in the country.
However, what is the purpose of this particular proposal? It could be stated with certainty that the implementation of such projects is linked to considerable risks that should be taken into account. In overall, nearly every project that is intended to be executed successfully requires a strong preliminary research as the basis on which the development is built.
Therefore, in this particular situation, in order to successfully introduce mobile financial services, it is essential that the company would have a profound understanding of the project’s feasibility, expected results, perception of the project by potential team members, their competencies, and the general planning of the implementation. Accordingly, this proposal serves as the initial stage of the consulting project that would help to ensure that “Azercell Telecom” LLC will succeed in developing its mobile financial services.
Major and Minor Research Questions and Objectives
The essential part of every research project is the identification of primary and secondary research questions, which should correlate directly with research objectives. On the basis of these questions and objectives, an efficient research could be carried as they will serve and concise and comprehensive guidelines. As I am the coordinator of the consulting project, it is appropriate to state that the overall research question for this proposal could be formulated as follows: will “Azercell Telecom” LLC succeed in the development of mobile financial services? As this question covers the overall scope of the project, it is necessary to support it with secondary research questions, that would highlight particular aspects of the project:
- Is the current economic situation in Azerbaijan as well as the company’s position in the market are favorable for the implementation of such project?
- How the members of the company, as well as people from other companies and businesses, perceive the probability of such project’s success?
- What are the core competencies that are needed for its implementation, and what kind of results is expected?
- What are particular steps that should be taken in order for the project to succeed?
Accordingly, the developed set of research questions could be translated into corresponding research objectives. First of all, it is essential to understand the economic context in which the project will be developed. Secondly, the qualitative information about the opinions of potential team members within the company along with other relevant stakeholders from the telecommunication and financial industries should be gathered. Thirdly, the core competencies and responsibilities needed for the successful achievement of the expected results should be developed. Finally, it is essential to outline the plan of the project implementation that would guide further activities.
According to the identified research objectives, it is essential to first discuss the feasibility of the project. As it was identified previously, the current economic situation in Azerbaijan is considerably favorable for the implementation of mobile financial services. Accordingly, what are the factors related to “Azercell Telecom” LLC that will help the company to implement the project successfully?
It is essential to state that “Azercell Telecom” LLC is the leader in the market of mobile services in Azerbaijan with the customer base of more than 3,5 million people. It is worth noticing that currently there is no bank in the country that has the same client base. In other words, the company has a large number of active users that would be potentially interested in operating their finances through the company that is reliable in their opinion.
Also, it is necessary to observe that my contribution to the development of the project will make it feasible enough. First of all, I have an over ten years experience in the telecommunication sector. Currently, I am holding the position of Treasury Manager in “Azercell Telecom” LLC, and thus my financial background is highly suitable for the implementation of the project. Moreover, as the part of the bill drafting team and the project coordinator, I have the access to the primary data which should be gathered. In particular, I am capable of collecting the information from stakeholders both within and outside the company by interviewing them. Therefore, there are no significant obstacles that would aggravate the research process.
The Identification of the Research Methodology
It is apparent that carrying out a research requires the employment of a strong methodology. Due to the nature of the particular research objectives that were identified previously, it is appropriate to state that qualitative methodology is the most suitable approach for this consulting project. As the overall purpose of the consultancy project is to provide the stakeholders with sufficient information so that they could decide to introduce mobile financial services in “Azercell Telecom” LLC, large amounts of qualitative data should be processed.
Accordingly, both primary and secondary data collection methods will be used. Primary data collection will be conducted mainly in forms of interview and questionnaires. In the context of my position within the company as well as in the bill drafting team, there are no difficulties in conducting this type of research. By interviewing the top management of the company, sector specialists, government authorities, and other relevant stakeholders, I will be able to get a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the economy and the probability of the project’s success.
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Secondary data collection methods are also highly important for the research. These methods will include the investigation of government data and statistics, academic articles, analytical reports, and research papers on the topic related to the purpose of the project. Thus, I will be able to incorporate the experience of other researchers and the evidence that they retrieved.
Discussion of the Research Methodology Literature
Also, it is important to observe the insights from the research methodology literature. For example, it is possible to mention the article by Kahlke (2014), in which the author discussed the general principles of conducting a qualitative research. It is stated in the article that an increasing number of studies employs a research method that is characterized by a less formal structure than well-established approaches to research. One of such methods is entitled generic qualitative research, which is subdivided into “interpretive description and descriptive qualitative research” (Kahlke, 2014, p. 13). The author indicates that this method is useful when it is needed to find an inventive approach to a topic.
Additionally, the study by Palinkas et al. (2015) emphasizes that purposeful sampling is a very beneficial aspect of the qualitative research methodology. The authors recommend that, in general, the sampling strategy should be developed as a logical extension of the research objectives. In other words, the sampling method should correspond to the overall purpose of the research and enhance it. Accordingly, the choice of the most suitable sampling strategy will largely increase the chances of retrieving meaningful insights and results will be reliable and generalizable. In general, it could be concluded that the qualitative methodology is a highly relevant method that correlates with the purposes of this research.
In the context of the aforementioned advantages that I have due to my position in “Azercell Telecom” LLC as well as in the bill drafting team, it is expected to retrieve valuable results from this research. Due to the fact that the company has no prior experience in implementing mobile financial services, the contribution of the research to the success of the company will be significant. It is expected that through the series of interviews and completed questionnaires, a vast qualitative dataset will be developed. Since I have the capability of interviewing various stakeholders that hold an important position in the industry, the insights gathered in the process of the research will have a large impact on the final decision-making when implementing mobile financial services in “Azercell Telecom” LLC.
Similarly to the advantages discussed in the previous section, it is possible to state with certainty that I have a set of competencies that are sufficient for carrying out a successful research and implementing MFS. In general, I have access to the network that would help me to gather all the essential information needed for the implementation of the project. As it was already mentioned, I consider myself to be a highly suitable candidate for conducting this research.
Primarily, my excellent financial background and 10-years experience in the telecommunication sphere are highly significant factors that influence the success of the project. It could be stated that I have a combination of technical and research skills, which is essential for the completion of the project. Not only can I successfully apply the qualitative research methodology for retrieving meaningful information, but also my proficiency in the technical aspects of the economy and business will help me to interpret the results of the research correctly. Thus, it is assured that I have a set of all essential competencies.
Finally, it is necessary to outline the essential steps of the projects and estimate the amount of time which is needed for their completion. Firstly, the investigation of secondary data on the topic should be conducted for approximately two weeks so that a profound understanding of the current economic context would be acquired. Simultaneously, the research team, which would include specialists that are interested in the research, should be gathered. Secondly, the most important step of the research, which is the completion of interviews and questionnaires, should be conducted for approximate period of two months.
Thus, a sample of participants that is enough for retrieving reliable results will be covered. Then, the final step of the project is the analysis of the gathered data. This process will require a month because large amounts of data should be processed. As a result of the final stage of the research, a comprehensive report should be developed.
In conclusion, it is possible to observe that this paper efficiently contributes to the development of the project. The proposal dwells on the discussion of all relevant aspects of the projected research. It is found out that the economic situation in Azerbaijan, as well as the position of “Azercell Telecom” LLC in the market, are favorable for the implementation of mobile financial services. My profound experience in the telecommunication sphere along with the advantages of my position in the company will positively contribute to the successful completion of the research project. This proposal serves as a comprehensive framework for the further development of the consulting project as it clearly identifies research question and objectives, and it also discussed the feasibility and research methodology of the study.
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