Displaying all posts under the topic of Mobile Money
May 24, 2013
Below are the latest and greatest articles, reports, and research from the field of microfinance and economic development. From remittances in Asia to microinsurance in Africa, it’s definitely been an interesting week!
Half of the adults in the world are “unbanked” -- about 2.5 billion people. That’s the starting point of a new book, Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion, published by the MIT Press.
April 4, 2013
In just 30 years, the microfinance movement has reached 200 million people who had been deemed "unbankable." That's a stunning success. But the narrative that drove this success has implicitly shut the vast majority of the unbanked out of the system. That's why it's time to change the story, and our minds, on how microfinance works, argue FAI's Jonathan Morduch and Timothy Ogden in Foreign Policy.
March 5, 2013
The mobile money revolution has been greeted with great excitement in some circles for the potential it holds to increase financial access for the world’s poorest. Women may especially benefit from expanding financial inclusion through mobile financial services (MFS).
One way to cope with an emergency is to borrow money from family and friends. But that typically doesn’t work when a disaster strikes a whole area. Sending and receiving money over larger distances, when transferring cash from person-to-person is impractical or impossible, can be very expensive. There are a litany of costs, from communications, to finding and traveling to agents, to the actual financial cost of the transfer. And don’t forget the cost of delay—in an emergency, delays in receiving needed funds can have big consequences.
What’s next? Jamie Zimmerman says it's the opportunity to make government-to-person payments a major vehicle of financial inclusion.
January 22, 2013
The microfinance space has never been a dull place. As the tumult of the last few years—debates about effectiveness, industry crises and crashes in several countries—seemingly dies down, it’s a good time to speculate about what’s next. It seems clear that “business as usual” in terms of rapid growth and expansion paired with unvarnished enthusiasm and uncritical praise is not what’s next.
So what is?
December 14, 2012
One of the many important questions in the transition to mobile and/or electronic money is who will bear the costs associated with using the system. This question is particularly salient since the Kenyan government announced it was planning to begin taxing mobile money transfers, adding to the cost of the system.
November 30, 2012
A few weeks ago I wrote that a transition to electronic payments will not be a boon to poor households unless the financial systems that undergird payments become more focused on serving poor households. It’s vitally important to think of the value and benefits of electronic payments within a system.
A couple of recent news stories highlight what a financial system enabled by electronic payments can do, even without the active cooperation of traditional banks.
September 26, 2012
I attended the Better than Cash Alliance launch this week at the Ford Foundation. The alliance’s goal is to accelerate the transition from cash to electronic payments in developing countries. For a good overview of the process, benefits and challenges of the transition, see this white paper from Bankable Frontier Associates (which is one of our partners in the US Financial Diaries project...