Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mobile banking and Remittances

Since the time that the GSMA announce their MMT (Mobile Money Transfer) program and Western Union established their mobile remittance division (able steered by Matt), many mobile-based remittance projects were launched. Some were more successful than others, yet the majority have not yet been deployed. Some of these projects are faced with very complex problems and challenges to make it work.

In order to stay focussed, it may be of interest to look at the primary reason for Mobile-based remittances - define the objectves (without limiting ongoing innovation). I am of the opinion that mobile-phone based money remittances intend meeting the following objectives:
  • To eliminate (or at a minimum reduce) cash as this is the most costly element in the remittance ecosystem. Mobile remittance systems should always keep this in mind. While understanding the cultural, practical and social implications, the aim should always be to have as little as possible cash in the system.
  • To increase the speed of fulfilling a remittance transaction (to clear it immediately). This objective can be achieved by making use of the phone as a tetrminating device.
  • To increase the auditability and legality of money remittance systems
  • To empower poor subscribers to become more financially inclusive. The objective is to ensure that money received via this system is put to good use. It would be great if these systems could assist poor people to budget better and to be able to have more direct control over their finsncisl ditution.

No comments: