New Report Reveals Potential for the World’s Poor to Bank Through Mobile Phones
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Vodafone Group, with the permission of The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), today publishes a report that reveals the economic and social benefits being created by mobile banking (m-banking) amongst the world?s poorest communities.
The report, titled Economic Empowerment through Mobile, is the third in a series of Corporate Responsibility Dialogues produced by Vodafone and includes the results from three independent research projects.
Vodafone partnered with The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and World Resource Institute (WRI) to research the impact of mobile phones in enabling economic transactions. It also worked with Forum for the Future (FFF) to understand the social and economic impact of its Airtime Transfer product in Egypt.
Key economic findings include:
The first public results on how low-income individuals in South Africa view and use m-banking, showing it is valued as it can be more affordable than traditional banking (94% of users/37% non-users)
Traditional business models are being challenged as m-banking models are adopted; one third of people in South Africa and Botswana who do not have bank accounts do either have a mobile phone or have access to one Airtime Transfer services in Egypt have started to create commercial opportunities for small-time dealers and resellers of airtime, providing a viable and flexible business opportunity for a wide range of micro-entrepreneurs
Key social findings include:
Mobile technology and the Airtime Transfer services support social networks through reinforcing existing relationships and enabling airtime to be redistributed across family or friends
Airtime Transfer services have given women more independence. 52% of the women surveyed for the FFF research said that airtime transfer gave them more freedom with only 5% saying the opposite