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Making mobile banking affordable

Sanket Mohapatra's picture

Adding to my earlier post about card based technologies, m-banking services are far cheaper than brick and mortar banks, but these can be costly compared to a poor person's income.  The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) has a head-to-head comparison of how the prices of the top branchless banking service -- GCash, Smart Padala, M-Pesa, Wizzit and MTN -- stack up against the top four banks in South Africa. The Filipino m-banking services and M-Pesa come out on top in terms of cost and affordability for the poor, while the South Africans providers are relatively more expensive.

New: Teething problems for mobile money transfers? See why Kenyan commercial banks are objecting to the MMT firms such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa which have become enormously popular and grown their customer base exponentially.


Submitted by Tomas on
Hi Sanket: I remember when I met CGAP in Washington last year to discuss mobile banking issues with them. One of the key points I picked up from CGAP was that in order for mobile banking technology to become truly ubiquitous, governments and their stakeholders must work to create a multiple payments' environment for consumers. Here in the Pacific region, at least at the moment, cash/money still drives purchasing behaviour. Pacific Islanders have yet to fully consider a substitute for cash and the many benefits this substitution could bring, including expanding A2F and greater financial access for rural poor. I think this mentality will change over time, particularly with the rapid expansion of Telecom infrastructure.

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