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Mobile Banking Could Take Over The Developing World

Mobile Banking Could Take Over The Developing World BuzzFeed News


According to the World Bank, 2 billion people around the world live on the margins of the formal financial system. That’s 2 billion people without a secure means of saving their money, 2 billion people without credit cards or any of the new wireless payment systems they enable. In developing economies, the situation is improving. But it still has a long way to go. And with financial access and participation varying wildly across the globe, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

On Wednesday, the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology and Innovation published a comprehensive report evaluating the state of financial access in 21 developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The study ranks nations across four broad categories: commitment of a nation’s government to increase access to financial tools; the regulatory environment; adoption of traditional bank accounts and digital services, like mobile money accounts; and the strength of phone networks.

The main finding? Financial services are taking off in the developing world, and tech-minded African nations are leading the way. Of the top five countries Brookings ranked, only one, Brazil, was outside of the continent. Kenya claimed the top spot, followed by South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda.

“Mobile money and other digital financial services are enabling enormous progress in access to finance,” the report states, “particularly in places — for example, in many sub-Saharan African countries — where there is often a lack of legacy systems and established traditional financial institutions.”

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Seems like it's already happening. Just needs more time. 

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