How The Internet of Everything Is Helping ‘Unbanked’ Citizens Around the World

Friday, May 1, 2015

Unbanked, underbanked, underrepresented, and nearly uncounted are a few adjectives describing three quarters of the world’s population. Many adults are in this state due to poverty, travel distance, and a plethora of paperwork. More than 50% of people living in developing countries don’t have bank accounts, leaving them vulnerable to theft and exploitation. Most of this segment consists of women. Fortunately, with some low-income countries quickly adopting mobile phone use, financial services such as mobile payments and money transfers are becoming accessible for communities that would otherwise be precluded from banking privileges. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest number of adults using banking institutions. But according to Frost & Sullivan, mobile payments in that region could reach $1.3 billion by 2019.

According to Global Payout, a financial company that combines being a program manager for international and domestic prepaid cards with the ability to move money for customers, 90% of the people on the planet have a smartphone. This bodes well for brands looking to grow their financial inclusion initiatives.

MasterCard is expanding its mobile remittance services in Nigeria and Zimbabwe, enabling African citizens living abroad to send funds through mobile money transfers, payment cards, bank accounts, or cash outlets from their homeland. During Mobile World Congress on March 3rd, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga delivered a keynote address emphasizing the importance of financial inclusion for citizens everywhere.

“In the future with the Internet of Things, where every device will be connected to the Internet, what kind of life will those who are financially excluded have?” said Banga during his speech.

“We’ll have the Internet of Everything but not the Inclusion of Everyone.”

Source: Huffington Post (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, mobile finance