Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mobile Money in Mexico

Mexico is such an important market from a mobile money perspective. The profile of the citizens, the proximity (and dependency on) a large remittance market and the big growth in mobile phones make this country one of the best candidate for the next big mobile money deployment. Not much has been achieved in the past years. With many false starts (and failures), have marked the early stages of mobile money in Mexico.

The big success of micro lending institutions to bring financial services to the lower income is an indication of the need that exist at the bottom of the pyramid and that fact that well-defined and managed services can be rolled-out to reach a large part of the population. Changes in the regulatory framework have made the possibility to roll-out more financial services grow. I have reported on this in a previous blog (Read here).

In a recent CGAP report a very good clue is given to why the rate of deployment is low. (Read here). None of the initiatives launched has been focused on growing the banking fraternity. Rather mobile banking initiatives have largely been focused on existing banked customers. This is really of extreme importance as the slow growth is not as a result of regulations, lack of technology etc., but because of a mindset that lower income customers are not worth the effort. What will change this mindset?


BigChief said...

I think the mindset is changing. I met people from the regulator and the largest telecommunications company in Mexico at a Mobile Money event in Nairobi. I actually meant to put you in touch with them and forgot. My bad. Will do that now.

They seem quite keen to learn from the successes in Africa and possibly replicate them.

proyectobistrot said...

Hi! I am from Mexico and an expert in micro finance now starting up an MFI engaged with mobile financial services, any interests to hear about it?