Big banks see rich opportunities in world’s poorest

Monday, December 9, 2013

(Reuters) – When the Afghan government used mobile phones instead of cash to pay some of its policemen, the officers thought they’d just had a 30 percent pay rise. In truth, they had just been paid the full amount, with nothing skimmed off by middlemen, for the first time.

This anecdote from the U.S. Agency for International Development shows how technological innovations such as mobile banking and biometrics have helped integrate more people in emerging markets into the formal financial system, opening up opportunities for bankswilling to take a chance.

While the market for more affluent and business clients becomes saturated, providing the world’s poorest with access to financial products is an unmatched growth opportunity.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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banking, financial inclusion, microfinance, mobile finance