Mobile banking to help 2 billion people by 2020

Mobile banking to help 2 billion people by 2020A Boston Consulting Group study found that mobile financial services would improve the lives of around 2 billion people in developing countries within a decade and boost economies.

“Overall, mobile financial services can reduce financial exclusion by 5 percent to 20 percent through 2020 and increase gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 5 percent, with Pakistan, for instance, potentially seeing a 3 percent uplift,” the study said.


The report, released by Norwegian telecom group Telenor on Tuesday, focused on five countries — Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Serbia — which represented a broad development range, it said.

Some 72 percent of the population in developing countries are without access to banks or credit cards according to the study.

They manage to work around this by borrowing from friends and family, obtaining short-term credit from employers, forming savings clubs or seeking out moneylenders but these options were often risky, costly and with indeterminate results.

Telecom firms such as Telenor, Vodafone (LSE:VOD.L), Orange (Paris:FTE.PA) and MTN have begun investing in mobile payment systems in Asia and Africa that allow consumers to make basic payments for utilities for example but also participate in savings, credit and insurance programmes via mobile phones.

The study added that improved access to finance fostered entrepreneurship, new business creation, and new jobs.

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