Using Mobile Banking Services to Improve Financial Access for the Poor: Lessons from Kenya, the Philippines, the United States, Haiti, and India
Keywords: mobile banking, financial access, developing countries, microfinance, low-income populations
AbstractAs the number of mobile phone subscriptions has rapidly expanded in developing countries, so too has the use of mobile phones to facilitate small-scale financial transactions around the world. Microfinance experts have recognized these mobile banking services as a means for expanding access to financial services among poor and low-income populations. Innovations over the past few years have proven that mobile network operators and banks can cooperate to create successful business models for mobile banking services. Recognizing this success, this paper further explores the ways in which private sector, public sector, and non-profit sector actors can and should collaborate to meet the financial service needs of the poor through innovations in mobile banking. Case studies from Kenya, the Philippines, the United States, Haiti, and India provide relevant lessons on how these collaborations have succeeded or failed in the past.