M-banking works for unbanked in South Africa

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Nine out of 10 low-income m-banking customers surveyed say m-banking is "not expensive" or is "inexpensive" for the benefits it offers, and 93 percent say they feel their money is as safe as with any other bank. However, findings also show most low- income people who are not customers have negative perceptions about banking and know little about mobile banking.

From Mobile Phone Banking and Low Income Customers: Evidence from South Africa, released yesterday by CGAP, the UN Foundation and Vodafone's foundation. Download the full report or see my previous post on mobile banking for more info.

M-banking remains the most powerful example of leapfrogging that I know of. It's actually a double leapfrog - from landlines to cell phones, and from traditional banks to virtual wallets.

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