Microfinance

Primer on Mobile Banking

The Philippines is called the "texting capitol of the world."  Everyone has a phone, mostly because they are a) inexpensive (starting at $20 USD), b) offer flexible plans (everything is prepaid), and c) texting makes life easier.  SMS messaging is the predominant mode of communication not only here, but in other parts of Southeast Asia.  Even business inquiries and scheduling a meeting might be done via text.   The mobile infrastructure of the Philippines is far more robust and pervasive than landlines or Internet.  In the context of development, the mobile landscape offers great opportunities.  Like anything, it is better to improve and leverage the existing system than to try to create a new one altogether.  The question becomes, how do you harness this existing infrastructure to improve delivery of microfinance services?  The answer is mobile banking. (more…)