Digital Frontiers

Mobile Money & Mobile Technology

ARTICLES

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic turmoil, mobile internet connectivity continued to grow. For the first time, more than half of the world’s population – just over 4 billion people – are using mobile internet. In 2020, coverage continued to increase, with 94% of the population now covered by a mobile broadband network. However,…

Using the GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index to Drive Digital Inclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of the internet and the critical role of mobile technology, which is the primary way most people access the internet. Mobile internet is providing access to critical information, services and opportunities, in addition to supporting economic growth. Great strides have been made in delivering digital inclusion and connecting…

Hey Sister! Show Me The Mobile Money

Now more than ever women need to be able to use mobile phones to manage their financial lives. Hey Sister! is an IVR (interactive voice response) campaign designed to increase women’s ability to access and use digital financial services. The campaign lessons are available for download here.

2021 The Mobile Economy Asia Pacific

Across Asia Pacific, operators are using the exceptional scale and utility of mobile networks and services to facilitate innovative digital solutions for large and small enterprises in line with Industry 4.0 objectives, in which 5G and IoT will play key roles. A second phase of 5G network rollouts has begun in the region, marked by…

The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2021

Owning a mobile phone and accessing the internet can be life changing. The scale and reach of mobile technology is enabling billions of people around the world to access crucial services and information to meet their life needs, often for the first time. This report by GSMA highlights how the mobile gender gap continues to…

Understanding People’s Mobile Digital Skills Needs

The report covers: The digital skills training landscape in India and Ghana; The role of mobile internet in supporting people’s needs; Mobile digital skills acquisition, including motivations, barriers, learning journeys, and key transferrable skills; and Key user archetypes identified in India and Ghana. Broad-based digital skills acquisition has the potential to overcome barriers to digital…

A Digital Financial Services Revolution in Kenya: The M-Pesa Case Study

The African Economic Research Consortium conducted this case study  which aims to contribute to the discussion around appropriate regulatory and policy issues of mobile money by focusing on actions that the Central Bank of Kenya took to help M-Pesa grow in a sustainable way.

Research Brief: The Impact of Mobile Money on Poverty

To support financial inclusion advocates and our partners in this sector, the FSP program has developed a research brief that outlines key findings on the impact of mobile money on poverty. The document shares rigorous evidence from a range of studies about the effects of mobile money on individuals and households and about the user experience of payment…

Scale2Save Case Study: Mobile Financial Services

This study  by Scale2Save provides an overview of mobile retail financial services in Africa. It identifies some key considerations for FSPs considering either introducing mobile services or expanding their mobile offerings. It focuses on the use of mobile money, but mobile banking and mobile wallets are also covered.

2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money

2020 was a year like no other. In every region of the world, COVID-19 triggered a mix of responses, from school and workplace closures to restrictions on movement to complete lockdown. All at once, handling cash, paying for daily essentials, and conducting business in person became risky, and more people than ever turned to mobile…

A Tough Call: Understanding Barriers to and Impacts of Women’s Mobile Phone Adoption in India

Today in India, 67% percent of men own mobile phones, but only 33% percent of women do. South Asian countries in general are clear outliers among countries of similar levels of development, with India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh exhibiting some of the world’s highest gender gaps in access to technology. While the mobile gender gap matters…

The Economic Impact of Mobile Phones on Low-Income Households

One of the most important technological advances over the last quarter-century has been the global diffusion of mobile phones. While the economic benefits from the mobile phone revolution are far-reaching, the greatest potential impact holds for the poorest—those who traditionally face steep barriers to long-distance communication, acquiring market information, and utilizing financial institutions. This research…

What is the Value of Pay-As-You-Go Solar for Mobile Operators?

The rapid growth of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar has been enabled by mobile money and mobile connectivity that allows customers to pay by instalments, and companies to remotely control and monitor the solar home systems (SHS). And in turn, the PAYG solar industry has helped to drive the adoption and use of mobile money, by giving…

Are the Effects of Mobile Money Regulation Gender Neutral?

According to the latest Global Findex data (2017), there are 1.7 billion ‘unbanked’ people in the world, the majority of whom are women. With 290 live deployments in 95 countries, mobile money has laid a firm footprint in many low- and middle-income countries and is an available option for many unbanked individuals to access financial…

Exploring the Relationship between Mobile Money Regulation and Usage

Mobile money has helped reduce the financial exclusion gap in low- and middle-income countries, with more than 1 billion registered accounts at the end of 2019. In Sub-Saharan Africa, almost half of mobile money users are reliant solely on mobile money to access financial services. The link between an enabling regulatory framework and a successful…

Mobile Money Enabled Cash Assistance: User Journeys in Burundi

Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has been gaining traction as an increasing number of humanitarian aid providers step up efforts to make it the default method of aid provision. Mobile money for CVA delivery can have wide-ranging benefits for recipients, humanitarian organisations and private sector organisations alike, but it may not be appropriate in all…

The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2020

This report suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the digital landscape around the world. The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has largely risen to the challenge of keeping individuals and businesses connected during the pandemic, despite changes in data consumption patterns. However, with nearly 800 million people in the region…

What Value do Open APIs bring to the Mobile Money Landscape?

GSMA hosted a four-day industry convening, looking at Open APIs in the mobile money industry. Following growing industry interest in API strategies, providers can drive ecosystem development, enable third-parties to innovate on valuable services, and generate new revenue streams. The interactive event was attended by key business and technical industry stakeholders from mobile money providers,…

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2020

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity report is the annual flagship publication of the Connected Society programme. This report is in its third year and provides the mobile industry and other stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the trends in global connectivity to inform progress towards closing the coverage and usage gaps and the key challenges.

Tracking Mobile Money Regulatory Responses to COVID-19 – Part 2

This blog, provides an update of the COVID-19 Response Tracker and examines the impact of the regulatory measures on mobile money operators.

Connected Society Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit

The Connected Society programme works with the mobile industry, tech companies, the development community and governments to increase access to and adoption of the mobile internet, focusing on underserved population groups in developing markets. One of their key activities is to generate and disseminate insights and learnings on the mobile internet coverage and usage gap.

GSMA Mobile Money API

The GSMA Mobile Money API is an initiative developed through collaboration between the mobile money industry and the GSMA, aimed at helping the mobile money industry speak the same technical language by providing a modern harmonised API for mobile money transactions and management that is both easy to use and secure.

We Need to Support Growth of Digital Assistive Tech Innovation in Africa and Asia

The GSMA Assistive Tech team, together with Urban Emerge, conducted a landscape study to identify digital solutions emerging from Africa and Asia that are addressing the needs of people with disabilities.

The Causes and Consequences of Mobile Money Taxation

Mobile money taxation is a controversial subject. On the one hand mobile money has been something of a development success story in those countries where it has taken hold. On the other, developing countries face a range of issues when it comes to raising sufficient revenue to fund public services. This paper from the GSMA takes a fresh…

How Mobile Money is Increasingly Interoperable

Achieving fully interoperable mobile money services that fulfil the needs of customers remains a goal for both the industry and the financial inclusion community. Emerging evidence from six markets sheds light on why this is the case. As more countries consider and implement a mobile money interoperability solution, this report from GSMA builds the evidence base…

MTN MoMo Pay Merchant Payments: Expanding Women’s Mobile Money Use in Ghana

Access to financial services can be a critical driver of economic growth and opportunity. In Ghana, mobile money has opened access to financial services for millions of people for the first time, strengthening the payment ecosystem and deepening financial inclusion. Despite its capacity to widen access to financial services, mobile money has not proven to…

Mobile Money Recommendations to Central Banks in Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for the global economy. It has affected global health systems, affected peoples’ livelihoods and will, invariably, leave long lasting economic effects. Many countries have adopted partial or total ‘lock downs’, restricting movement in a bid to “flatten the curve” and to limit the spread of the virus.…

Mobile Money Regulatory Index

The Mobile Money Regulatory Index measures regulatory enablers of mobile money adoption. It has been constructed according to the steps set out in the guidelines developed by the OECD and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). This methodology document presents the theoretical framework that underpins the Index; the process for selecting the indicators, along…

The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020

This third edition of The Mobile Gender Gap Report will consider how women’s mobile access and use are changing, and how efforts to reach women with technology should evolve alongside. This report provides: Updated figures on gender gaps in mobile ownership and mobile internet use in LMICs and how these are changing For the first…

The GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab for Mobile Money Interoperability

The GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab has released its Interoperability Test Platform, the first joint test environment including two key technologies, the GSMA Mobile Money API and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Mojaloop. With this test platform, the GSMA provides the industry with an open-source and secure environment, enabling ecosystem participants to test their systems…

State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2019

2019 marked a major milestone for the mobile money industry: the number of registered mobile money accounts surpassed one billion. Reaching the one billion mark is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is just over a decade old. The mobile money industry of today has a host of seasoned providers with a broad set…

Building a Resilient Industry: How Mobile Network Operators Prepare for and Respond to Natural Disasters

Mobile networks and connectivity have become increasingly necessary in times of crisis. They allow us to connect with loved ones, whether they are down the street or on the other side of the world. They fill not only a very human need to connect during times of hardship, but they also allow the coordination of…

A Guide for Mobile Money Agents and Digital Literacy Change Agents

This Digital Literacy Training Guide is a contextually appropriate, engaging curriculum designed to address the knowledge, attitudinal and skills barriers that prevent refugees-especially women-from accessing and using financial services. The purpose of this guide from GSMA is to prepare mobile money agents and digital literacy change agents to educate people in their communities about the…

The Mobile Money Regulatory Index

In September 2018 GSMA launched the Mobile Money Regulatory Index, an interactive tool that measures the effectiveness of mobile money regulatory frameworks.

Taxing Mobile Phone Transactions in Africa: Lessons from Kenya

Taxation on mobile phone-based transactions and on airtime has been introduced in Kenya and is spreading to other African countries. Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa view mobile phones as a booming subsector easy to tax due to the increasing turnover of transactions and the formal nature of such transactions by both formal and informal enterprises.…

Harnessing the power of mobile money to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

This report from GSMA brings together existing evidence to explore the ways in which mobile money is contributing to the digitalisation of finance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The insights presented here illustrate the potential of mobile money to help achieve the 2030 targets by driving sustainable and inclusive growth, and providing solutions…

Taxing mobile phone transactions in Africa Lessons from Kenya

The taxation on mobile phone-based transactions and on airtime has been introduced in Kenya and is spreading to other African countries. Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa view mobile phones as a booming sub-sector easy to tax due to the increasing turnover of transactions and the formal nature of such transactions by both formal and informal enterprises. The increasing…

Mobile Money Glossary

This glossary by GSMA provides definitions for common mobile money industry terminology in English, French and Spanish

Payments as a platform: The future of mobile money

The GSMA reviews the mobile money business model and the journey to a platform-based model. Five pillars to address are identified, including need for plug-and play access, new business models, optimizing user experience, collaboration with third parties, and personalized approach to product design. The approach could benefit start-ups and small businesses as well as diversifying…

The Mobile Economy: Russia and CIS

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region has about 80% of the population being subscribed to mobile services. This puts it just behind Europe and North America and well ahead of the global average of 66%. Within the states there is a diversity of uptake, from 60% in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to 89% in Russia. This report by the…

What are the roles of intermediated and shared use?

Not everyone uses digital finance as it was originally intended; digital financial services (DFS) have been repurposed to fit individuals’ specific needs. Individuals also access digital finance platforms in so-called “non-conventional” ways. By “non-conventional”  we mean that an individual shares either a mobile phone and/or digital finance account to access DFS or use an intermediary who…

What makes a successful commercial partnership?

Delivering digital finance typically requires a complex web of partnerships and coordination. A digital finance provider—whether a bank, a mobile network operator (MNO), or another third party—has to coordinate with a payment service provider that brands and sells the service to the public, a bank to hold the float account and safely store funds, a…

Digital Solutions for Analogue Agents

Mobile and financial technology might be advancing rapidly, but agent networks are still largely unchanged. Despite technological advancement, the way banks and telecoms manage mobile money agents has stagnated. This report from FIBR looks at the current telecom trends could soon change and what might the future of agent networks look like.  

Using Trusts to Protect Customers’ Mobile Money Funds

Mobile money is a payment and storage service that uses ‘e-money’—a form of stored value that is not a bank deposit. This note focuses on mobile money services provided by non-banks, such as a mobile network operator (the provider). In this non-bank model, customers exchange cash for e-money at an agent. The e-money, once acquired,…

Protecting Customers’ Mobile Money Funds in Civil Law Jurisdictions

This briefing note explores how regulators can protect such customers’ funds from loss in a civil law jurisdiction.

War of the Wallets

The emergence of several high profile mobile payment services, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, has provided the sector with fresh impetus. Although the failure of several MNO (Mobile Network Operator)-led ventures meant that, in the offline space at least, mobile payments plateaued for several years across Europe and North America, the space…

Mobile Money Payment Toolkit for Utility Service Providers

Today, utility service providers are delivering essential services to communities. Increasingly, the use of mobile money payment solutions is becoming widespread in utility services. In September 2016, for example, over 1.6 million mobile money transactions were generated by pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar energy services. However, one of the main challenges for PAYG utility service providers is…

The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa

The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to scale rapidly, reaching 367 million subscribers in mid-2015. Migration to higher speed networks and smartphones continues apace, with mobile broadband connections set to increase from just over 20% of the connection base today to almost 60% by the end of the decade. Falling device prices are encouraging…

The Mobile Economy: India 2016

This report from the GSMA discusses the mobile economy in India. India boasts the second highest number of mobile subscribers of any country worldwide – testament to the technological transformation that has spread across Indian society over the past decade. The country is also now the world’s second largest smartphone market, having overtaken the US…

‘Leapfrogging’: a Survey of the Nature and Economic Implications of Mobile Money

Mobile money is a recent financial innovation giving financial transaction services via a mobile phone, including to the unbanked global poor. Mobile money technology has spread rapidly in the developing world, “leapfrogging” the provision of formal banking services by solving the problems of weak institutional infrastructure and the cost structure of conventional banking. This survey…

Riding the Rails of Mobile Payments: Financial Inclusion, Mobile Phones, and Infrastructure

This chapter on riding the rails of mobile payments analyzes payments as both technical and social infrastructures for “financial inclusion,” that is, political, business, and philanthropic projects designed to extend the benefits and functions of formal financial services to under- and unbanked populations around the world. Specifically, it is concerned with mobile payments—the use of…

Decade Edition of the State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money

With the State of the Industry Report on Mobile Financial Services now in its sixth year, this special 2016 edition industry report by GSMA is an opportunity to reflect on the incredible progress made over the last decade. While mobile money has been around for more than 10 years, few would dispute that the 2007…

The Impact of Mobile Money Interoperability in Tanzania

The publication highlights the impact of mobile money interoperability in Tanzania, focusing on early data and market perspectives on account-to-account interoperability. This paper leverages both qualitative and quantitative analysis by including industry perspectives from the providers. This approach allows for the contextualization of growth patterns against the broader strategic impact of account-to-account interoperability among mobile…

Digital Finance for All: Powering Inclusive Growth in Emerging Economies

A report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), Digital finance for all: Powering inclusive growth in emerging economies, is the first attempt to quantify the full impact of digital finance. In addition to extensive economic modeling, the report draws on the findings of field visits to seven countries—Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan—and more than 150…

Payment Mechanisms and Anti-Poverty Programs: Evidence from a Mobile Money Cash Transfer Experiment in Niger

Cash transfers have become an increasingly important component of social protection policies in both developed and developing countries. While such programs are often implemented electronically in developed countries, in many developing countries with weak financial infrastructure, such transfers are distributed manually, resulting in significant costs to program recipients and the public sector alike. The introduction…

Choosing an Agent Management Model

One important question service providers have to ponder prior to entering the market is the agent hierarchy structure. Adopting a model which fits the market will save time, and money, and reduce stress levels for Senior Executives. The three models proposed in this post from the Helix Institute illustrates the most common options available for…

Managing a Mobile Money Agent Network

This article from the GSMA explores how mobile operators can ensure that the agent networks they have built and incentivised are managed effectively. A well managed agent network can help operators build brand awareness, educate customers, and meet system-wide liquidity demands, all of which builds confidence among users in a service that is initially unintuitive.…

Three Key Considerations for Agent Banking

This presentation from the Helix Institute looks at the following three considerations for agent banking: The Value Proposition to Anchor Your Service The People & Management Structures The Character of Your Agents

Mobile Money Business Models

This presentation from the Payments Innovation Working group explores the three core business models for mobile money.

Expanding the Ecosystem of Mobile Money: Considerations for Interoperability

This note from the GSMA discusses interoperability in broad terms as the interconnection of mobile money services with external parties, with the aim to create value for both customers and commercial players. Interoperability is increasingly cited as a solution to increase transaction volumes and extend the range of financial products offered through the mobile phone.…

Understanding the potential of the mobile money ecosystem

For GSMA, the mobile money ecosystem includes mobile money providers and all third party organisations that can benefit from mobile money, either by using it as a payment mechanism or by leveraging mobile money accounts. The mobile money ecosystem facilitates transactions from different sectors, such as retail, utilities, health, education, agriculture, and transportation in addition…

Mobile money profitability: A digital ecosystem to drive healthy margins

The path to profitability. Beyond these bright lights in the industry, MNOs still have limited visibility into the investment required for mobile money to succeed, what profit margins to expect, and how margins will change as their service matures. This paper aims to provide guidance for operators seeking to evaluate the profitability of mobile money…

GSMA Mobile Enabled Community Services: Sustainable Energy & Water Access through M2M Connectivity

This paper from the GSMA aims to shed light on the opportunities created by M2M solutions to reach and empower underserved populations in the developing world. The emergence of new business models leveraging GSM connectivity for remote operation and monitoring is already helping tens of thousands of people gain access to more affordable and sustainable…

Mobile Payments Infrastructure Access and Its Regulation: USSD

This working paper from CGAP explores the mobile payments infrastructure and regulation, the impact on competition and how regulation can address access issues in the mobile payments market.

An Emerging Platform: From Money Transfer System to Mobile Money Ecosystem.

While it has often been described as a money transfer product, when mobile money reaches scale it can also be seen as a network infrastructure and platform facilitating the exchange of cash and electronic value between various economic actors including clients, businesses, the government, and financial service providers. In the past, the emergence of other…

Choosing a technical model for A2A interoperability: Lessons from Tanzania and Pakistan

In 2014, the GSMA engaged with mobile money service providers (MMSPs) in eight markets to foster collaboration and establish domestic account-to-account (A2A) interoperability. This paper focuses on Tanzania and Pakistan – two of the three markets – where account to account interoperability was implemented in 2014. With very different regulatory environments and commercial models, providers…

Mobile Infrastructure Sharing

This paper from the GSMA is based upon a series of interviews with mobile network operators and infrastructure providers, a literature review and analysis of existing examples of site sharing. Its purpose is to set out some of the key themes associated with infrastructure sharing and to provoke discussion on this issue. It is not…

USAID/Philippines Scaling Innovations In Mobile Money (Simm) Project

From October 2012 through March 2013, SIMM focused its efforts in forging partnerships with its four (4) pilot cities and municipality, which was made official through the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between USAID with each of the pilot cities and municipality. These partnerships helped usher the establishment of mobile money ecosystems with the…

Mobile Money Regulation: Is more regulation better?

This presentation by the GSMA looks at the role of regulation and its influence on the uptake of mobile money and how to scale the business.

Enabling Mobile Money Policies in Kenya: Fostering a Digital Financial Revolution

This case study from the GSMA traces the early stages of mobile money development in Kenya, from its conceptualisation to the design and codification of a suitable regulatory model, showing that by creating an enabling regulatory environment and nurturing new technologies such as mobile money, regulators can be agents of change for financial inclusion. This…

The Mobile Money Revolution: NFC Mobile Payments

Mobile money refers to financial transactions and services that can be carried out using a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet. These services may or may not be linked directly to a bank account. Previously, recharging your mobile meant adding more airtime but now increasingly you will be able to add money…

A Secure Operational Model for Mobile Payments

This paper explores a secure model for mobile payments. Instead of paying by cash, check, or credit cards, customers can now also use their mobile devices to pay for a wide range of services and both digital and physical goods. However, customers’ security concerns are a major barrier to the broad adoption and use of…

Easypaisa Mobile Money Innovation in Pakistan

EASYPAISA a mobile money service launched in Pakistan in 2009, serves more than five million customers a month through 25,000 points of service. By the end of 2012, it had processed more than 100 million transactions with a throughput of more than US$ 1.4 billion. Easypaisa was identified as a 2012 GSMA Mobile Money Sprinter…

Digital Financial Inclusion- an ICT perspective

Mobile financial services have become an important driver of financial inclusion in a growing number of countries. They are bringing finance to the ‘unbanked’, who have hitherto not had access to formal financial services – whether because they had no bank branches in their areas or services were just too expensive. Starting with mobile money…

Promoting Competition in Mobile Payments: The Role of USSD

This Brief from CGAP outlines why USSD is important for mobile payments and highlights the main types of complaints arising as a result of restricted USSD access for MFS providers. It then explores regulatory issues, including when regulatory intervention may be required, which regulator might be best placed to intervene, and what type of regulation…

Platforms for Successful Mobile Money Service

Based on extensive research of mobile money service providers and platform vendors, this paper by the GSMA aims to help service providers identify the functional and technical features they require for a platform to meet their business needs. The paper reviews what makes money money a unique type of service for MNOs, identifying the main…

Segmenting Your Mobile Money Customer Base to Drive Usage

This presentation from GSMA will provide new tools for operators to drive regular usage by segmenting their mobile money customer base.

Mobile Money in the Philippines – The Market, the Models and Regulation

This case study from the GMSA explores the Philippines and its place among the most advanced mobile money markets in the world. In 2001, SMART Communications launched SMART Money in partnership with Banco de Oro. The service, which uses SIM Tool-Kit, enables customers to buy airtime, send and receive money domestically and internationally via mobile,…

M-PESA Case Study

M-PESA was the first product of its kind to be introduced in Kenya and is generally viewed as a successful implementation that should be used as a model for other developing countries. This paper from IFC discusses the methodology employed by Safaricom and the Vodafone Group during the implementation of M-PESA.

Drivers of digital financial services inactivity in Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire is the largest Digital Financial Services market in the West African Economic and Monetary Union. In 2014, Côte d’Ivoire accounted for over 50 percent of the value deposited into mobile money accounts in the region. However, in common with many markets across the globe, Côte d’Ivoire has a high level of inactive DFS…

Marketing Mobile Money: Top 3 Challenges

This presentation from the GSMA explores the top 3 challenges in marketing mobile money: 1) segmenting the market; 2) complicated customer journey; and 3) the marketing mix required.

A Note on Macro-Financial Implications of Mobile Money Schemes

Across the world mobile money schemes are being launched. In such schemes financial service providers interact with clients via mobile phones or other mobile devices such as tablets. Service offerings include payments and saving as well as basic insurance products and sometimes credit based on scoring methods that use information about the client’s payment history.…

Competition Aspects of New Mobile Payment Networks: The Case of Mobile Payments in Spain

This note by Ignacio Mas reviews the Spanish experience with regulating the competition aspects of new mobile payment networks in the absence of formal technical standards. The saga is in two parts, as the strategy of the early movers, dominant telco Telefonica and leading bank BBVA, changed radically in mid-course. At first, they sought to…

Enabling Different Paths to Development of Mobile Money Ecosystems

Building a successful mobile money system requires a complex ecosystem of players handling a large volume of transactions. This paper by Ignacio Mas identifies four principal paths to building mobile money ecosystems; makes the case that countries should adopt regulatory frameworks that allow for any or all of these models to emerge; and develops the…

The Role of Mobile Operators in Expanding Access to Finance

Mobile phones may have a huge role to play in expanding access to finance. But does the company that operates the mobile network need to actually provide financial services? Or should others offer financial services, with the mobile operator merely providing the underlying wireless connectivity? The fact that mobile phones can be used as transactional…

Banking for the Poor: State-of-the-Art Financial Offerings for the Developing World

This paper by Ignacio Mas describes the opportunity of using mobile phones as a way to increase access to finance in developing counties. It also explains how mobile payments can trigger innovation and entrepreneurship at the base of the pyramid, and how they can serve to bring liquidity to rural communities.

The Utility of Retail Payments in Addressing the Financial Inclusion Gap in Developing Countries

This paper by Ignacio Mas outlines the role of mobile phones in addressing the financial inclusion gap in developing countries and the value of retail payments in jump-starting mobile schemes. It then lays four key challenges in the evolution of mobile money schemes from pure payment mechanisms to vehicles for broader financial inclusion.

Why Doesn’t Every Kenyan Business Have a Mobile Money Account?

The contribution of mobile payments (and in particular M-PESA) in Kenya to strengthening family/social networks is well documented, and its potential to tackle financial inclusion is well understood. What has perhaps received less attention is how well mobile money is serving the business market. This study by Ignacio Mas assesses how extensive is the use…

Bridges to Cash: The Retail End of M-PESA

M-PESA is a remarkably successful mobile payments system launched in Kenya three years ago. Users are able to send money to each other conveniently from their M-PESA using only their mobile phones. A key to the success of M-PESA is the availability of an extensive network of retail shops that accept M-PESA deposits and withdrawals,…

Three Keys to M-PESA’s Success: Branding, Channel Management and Pricing

M-PESA, a mobile-phone based electronic payments system, has been adopted by 8.5 million Kenyans in the relatively short span of 2½ years. Surveys of users show it is a highly valued service, and Safaricom continues to expand the range of applications it can be used for. This paper by Ignacio Mas explores how Safaricom, the…

Designing Mobile Money Services: Lessons from M-PESA

This paper by Ignacio Mas presents ten key service design features that have facilitated the rapid adoption and active use of M-PESA in Kenya. These relate to branding and messaging, ease of use, consistency of customer experience, agent monitoring, instantaneous customer registration, free deposits, ability to send money to non-registered customers, and agent channel growth.

Beyond Products: Building Integrated Customer Experiences on Mobile Phones

With today’s mobile money platforms, the value proposition for keeping money digital and driving up usage of digital payments is still thin. Mobile money is built on speed (real-time clearing) and liquidity (thousands of merchants where you can cash in and out). It’s ready-cash (an immediately accessible mobile wallet), cash-to-go (P2P money transfers, billpay). But…

Banking on Mobiles: Why, How, For Whom

This paper by Ignacio Mas examines how banks can translate the potential of mobile phones into greater financial access for poor people. Although mobile phone operators have been able to use the mobile phone for mobile remittance and bill payment services in several countries, banks have had little success in using mobile phones as part…

Savings as forward Payments: Innovations on Mobile Money Platforms

This paper by Ignacio Mas presents a new framework which allows people to manage their diverse payment, cashflow management and commitment savings needs simply and intuitively, from a single account. It builds on the logic of mobile money platforms, which provide customers with the ability to initiate real-time electronic payments from their mobile phone and…

An Empirical Examination of Why Mobile Money Schemes Ignite in Some Developing Countries but Flounder in Most

Mobile money schemes have grown rapidly in some developing countries but failed in many more. This paper reports the results of an empirical study of mobile money schemes in 22 developing countries chosen based on prior evidence to include roughly equal numbers of successes and failures. It uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence…

Mobile Money the Next Wave of Growth

This year’s report from EY draws on detailed research and client insights from EY industry professionals, supplemented by an online survey of 6,000 consumers in 12 countries worldwide across four continents.  The research points to three key findings: 1. Mobile payments are set for a new wave of growth, but disruption is rising in a…

Mobile Money Services – Design and Development for Financial Inclusion

Mobile money services are being deployed rapidly across emerging markets as a key tool to further the goal of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion, the development of novel methods to enable individuals at the base of the pyramid to access formal financial services and become part of the formal financial system, is considered a key pre-requisite…

10 Ways to Accelerate Mobile Money

Mobile money can transform the lives of 1.8 billion people who have access to a mobile phone but not a bank. It can connect the last mile to basic financial services. Yet despite the over 100 mobile money deployments around the world, only a handful have reached economies of scale. We have learned from these…

Digital Inclusion and Mobile Sector Taxation in Mexico

Seeking to extend ICT access, the government and international organisations have identified affordability and investment as key issues that create barriers to digital inclusion. First, devices and services remain unaffordable for many Mexicans, particularly those in the poorest segments of the population. A basic device accounts for over 5% of annual income for the poorest…

IFC Mobile Money Toolkit

IFC’s Mobile Money Toolkit is a combination of both the best publicly available information and original content and newly created materials. It includes documents available from CGAP, USAID, the World Bank, GSMA, and other organizations that are doing research in the realm of mobile money. Each part contains a number of documents or tools, some…

Managing the Risk of Mobile Banking Technologies

The report should be of interest to: mobile Financial Service Providers, whether banks, MNOs or non-banks, who are considering introducing m-FS, and financial regulators who are increasingly interested in the risks of m-banking and the extent to which providers are understanding and managing these risks.

Mobile Money Product Adoption Life Cycle

This paper explains how product diffusion and the related technology adoption curve can explain why some mobile money services start strong among a small sample of the population but eventually stagnate. The document also describes what MFSPs can do to “cross the chasm” and increase adoption in the majority of the market.

Driving Customer Usage of Mobile Money for the Unbanked

This paper first considers the customer journey for mobile money, emphasizing that moving the consumer from awareness to regular use requires different marketing interventions at each step in the journey. Then considers mobile money in its context, looking closely at the market situation to determine how to identify the best target market for mobile money…

Scaling Mobile Money

Retail payment systems require scale to get off the ground and struggle to grow incrementally, as they need to build trust, reap network effects and overcome chicken-and-egg problems of acquiring both customers and merchants. To overcome these barriers, they must (i) create enough urgency in customers’ minds to learn about, try, and use the service;…

Mobile Payments Go Viral: M-PESA in Kenya

M-PESA is a small-value electronic payment and store of value system that is accessible from ordinary mobile phones. It has seen exceptional growth since its introduction by mobile phone operator Safaricom in Kenya in March 2007: it has already been adopted by 14 million customers (corresponding to 68 percent of Kenya’s adult population) and processes…

Product Innovations on Mobile Money

This paper conducts a thorough review of the state of product development and innovation on mobile money platforms. It is, in effect, a first-of-its-kind catalog of products and services that have been rolled out, are being piloted or have been proposed. In each case we discuss the specific functionalities they entail, or how they build…

2015 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money

This report focuses on the state of the mobile money sector and industry trends, covering: Availability and spread of mobile money services globally. Access to mobile money services, including both physical access through agent networks and technical access through the mobile interface. Adoption and customer activity levels, particularly how mobile money providers drive scale. Usage…

Fertile Grounds for Mobile Money: Towards a Framework for Analyzing Enabling Environments

The potential of mobile phones to revolutionize access to financial services in developing countries is exemplified powerfully by the success of the M-Pesa mobile money service in Kenya. But the apparent difficulty of replicating M-Pesa’s success even in neighboring countries suggests that some contexts may be more receptive to such an innovation than others. This…

Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers

This Code of Conduct identifies principles aimed at promoting mobile money providers’ adoption of consistent risk mitigation practices in certain critical areas of their business.