Int’l Telecoms, Gates Foundation To Connect 2.5bn Adults To Mobile Money
Monday, June 30, 2014
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has joined hands with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to connect over 2.5 billion adults who do not have access to a formal bank account, most of them in developing economies, by delivering digital financial services capable of improving the delivery of basic financial services.
ITU has established a new focus group on digital financial services to promote financial inclusion using information and communication technologies (ICT) in response to a proposal from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a member of ITU’s Standardisation Sector (ITU-T).
Internationally standardised ‘mobile money’ platforms will increase financial inclusion to the benefit of socioeconomic development worldwide. Standards will drastically reduce the costs of these services to service providers and their customers, thereby opening the door to remote and underserved communities.
ITU secretary-general, Hamadoun I. Touré said, “The extraordinary impact of mobile money solutions in developing countries has highlighted that ICTs are at the heart of innovation in financial services. What is lacking is an international standard that will allow interoperability between the services offered by different operators”.