Sunday, February 22, 2009

Banking the unbanked

I suppose, one of the biggest announcements in Barcelona was the grant of the Gates Foundation to banking the unbanked. (Many articles, but read one here). This is great news and an acknowledgment of the importance (to everybody) to provide as much as possible people the means to have access to their money electronically. Basically the fight is against cash, because of all the negative effects of cash.

By providing electronic access to money, it is possible to ultimately defeat poverty, because of the following reasons.
  • It is much more effectively to teach people to save in this way.
  • It will make access to banking and advanced payment transactions possible and cost effective
  • It is much safer and provides for mechanisms to defend against fraud
  • It is a mechanism to help educate people how to manage money. It is very difficult to manage money according to a budget without the tools of electronic banking.
Mobile phones created miracles by allowing people to talk to each other. By using it as a tool to get access to money, we will cross the barrier to a better world.

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