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Submitted by George D on

I don't think Russia is particularly low. I think it's squarely in the middle. Few countries have less than 70 subscriptions per 100, but the majority of countries have less than 3% of adults using phones to pay bills or send money.

Access to electronic banking is terrible everywhere. And that's because banks are resistant to change. They might not realise that they are slowing their economies and acting as a form of friction rather than a facilitator, but they do realise that their current models; (few uses, high charges) which developed when money was an entirely physical commodity, are profitable.

As your example illustrates, and has been shown elsewhere, it requires new entrants to the business to break their oligopolies on the movement of money. This can come either in the form of new players (mobile phone operators usually), or new business units within existing banks. Where banking penetration is high, the latter seems fairly unlikely. This requires active interventions in the market (whether by government and IGOs or by new players), and it often requires deregulation to weaken a powerful protectionist industry.