Sunday, June 19, 2011

Is Mobile banking really serving the poor?

I recently noted that Michael Joseph (the father of mPesa) participated in a forum on the topic of banking the unbanked (Read here). Many observers are asking if mobile phones can be used to bring previously unbanked people into the domain of electronic banking. Much is being said about it and it is analysed from different directions, but should we not just ask the simple question: "Is mobile banking really serving the poor?"

It seems that there are overwhelming evidence that it does (and not just in Kenya):
  • In a recent research paper prepared by CGAP, it was found that more than 40% of Easypaisa users in Pakistan live on less than $2.50 a day. (Read here). It was also found that almost have of the users of the service do not have a bank account.
  • Berg Insight research indicate that about 133 million people benefit from mobile banking services in emerging markets. (Read here). According to this research more than a billion dollars was remitted to mobile banking accounts in 2010.
  • The Boston Consulting Group recently produced a report highlighting the big progress that has been made (Read here). Big growth in the penetration of the unbanked community is projected.
So in summary, we must surely say: "Yes, mobile banking is definitely serving the poor". Much must still be done, but sometimes it is important to just reflect and to realise that we are on the right track.


Mobile Banking said...

I think mobile banking can serve anyone who can use mobile phone, using mobile banking you can solve a lot of aspects of daily life;)))

Anonymous said...

Micheal is not the father of M-PESA, Nick Hughes and Susie lonie are the father and mother