Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mobile Money in Asia

After a few months of well-earned rest, one of the pioneers of mobile banking is back at work. Brad Jones, who established Wing in Cambodia some years back, has recently launched his own advising firm Mobile Accelerate.

During the past period, he and other specialists (like Paul Reynolds, Michael Joyce and Joep Roest) launched a portal for mobile money initiatives in Asia. (Read here). With information related to capital for initiatives, ancillary services (like payroll) and regulatory considerations (like KYC) it is definitely worth a read - or to keep an alert going.

It is important that practitioners in this new industry don't just execute, but also share their insights with a wider audience. With this in mind, Mobile Money Asia must be applauded.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Mobile banking could boost economic growth according to World Bank

The World Bank recognized the important role that mobile banking can play in the fight against global poverty. (Read here). Research based on a poll of
150 000 people in 148 countries, shows that 2.5 billion people do not have bank accounts. This is 59% of the population in developing countries.

Some of the biggest reasons why people don't have bank accounts are the high cost of traditional banking products, the distance that must be travelled to get to banks and amount of paper work involved in opening accounts. However, the report shows that these problems are increasingly being tackled with mobile phones and that mobile banking is being used more and more to solve this problem. The impact of mobile banking in the fight against financial exclusion is visible and now recognised by the World Bank.
Or, as Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank put it: "Providing financial services to the 2.5 billion people who are 'unbanked' could boost economic growth and opportunity for the world's poor. Harnessing the power of financial services can really help people to pay for schooling, save for a home, or start a small business that can provide jobs for others."