Mobile Microfinance: Delivering Financial Inclusion to the World’s Poor

As outlined in Juniper’s recently published research report, Mobile Financial Services: Developing Markets 2015-2020, the mobile device is becoming the core enabler for the world’s poor to seek financial inclusion, with users of such services set to grow to 283 million by 2020. 

Enabling the World’s Poorest

The unbanked populace in developing regions are being introduced to financial services through the use of mobile money platforms. This extends from simply sending remittances, to being able to receive life-saving services and provisions through sophisticated mobile money transactions, which include such offerings as loans, savings, and insurance.

Barriers to Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets

The mobile device has proven a game-changer in financial development for poorer nations due to a number of reasons.

Firstly, the fact that consumers can register with their mobile device through widely available outlets and branches in local stores, means that people are no longer required to travel long distances. Thus avoiding the use of poor transport systems, and travel over long distances, to reach major cities to register with a bank. 

Additionally, Microfinance providers themselves face a hurdle with regard to the initial start-up costs associated with their services. In many developing nations profit is not feasible by traditional methods and, as a result, MFIs (Mobile Financial Institutions) have been reluctant to set up shop. The mobile form of finance delivery offers cheaper start-up costs, and far reaching services.
Juniper’s Mobile Financial Services research discusses the further implications that mobile banking poses for developing nations, as well as the current trends and key services on offer in this sector. For an overview of the microfinance industry download our white paper Microfinance with Macro Potential.