Mobiles for Development: The Case of M-Banking

Mobiles for Development: The Case of M-Banking

Judith Mariscal (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-699-0.ch025
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This chapter offers a survey of recent literature on access gaps that focuses on pro-poor market solutions provided by mobile applications. The emerging literature on mobile uses in developing countries has focused on the benefits of voice and text messaging. However, there is little academic research on mobile applications such as m-banking. While a large number of low income people have access to mobile phones, these groups are excluded from the financial market. M-banking offers the opportunity to diminish this financial exclusion by offering access to credit and to savings which are key tools capable of transforming the livelihoods of the poor and the efficiency of the market. Accessibility is the major barrier for the expansion of mobile adoption by the poor. There is an important role for regulators to play in enabling an appropriate environment for the increase in the mobile penetration as well as business models for m-banking.
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Icts Adoption In Latin America

Latin America still faces the problem of a significant number of underserved groups of the population; this lack of connectivity and significant adoption of ICTs in the region varies across income groups, countries and technologies. As shown Digital Opportunities Index (DOI) in figure 1, Latin America is behind other developing regions in terms of ICT adoption, especially those that have implemented successful ICTs strategies, such as Korea and Ireland.3 The low level of adoption, illustrated by these measures of digital competitiveness is limiting the opportunities to use ICTs for social and economic development.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Banking: refers to ability of made banking transactions through the mobile telephony like remittances or payment of bills.

ICT4D: refers to use of Information and Communications Technologies to accomplish economic and social development goals.

Access gap: refers to the unavoidable market failures where some population groups are not serviced because their access is not considered profitable.

Bank access: refers to the possibility to access to banking services like an open an account for deposits or withdraws.

Accessibility: refers to the situation where the people have access to some Information and Communications services.

Market gap: refers to the difference between the penetration level that could be reached under non-optimal market conditions and under optimal conditions.

Underserved population: refers to people who does not have available some Information and Communication Technologies services for any reason, but especially because their low income.

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