Unbanked and cashless: why mobile wallets like M-Pesa are focusing on eastern Europe

Monday, June 16, 2014

Despite setbacks so far, banks and phone companies want to push digital wallets like PayM in Europe. They’ve begun a new mobile payments drive and this time they’re using lessons learned in Africa, one of the world’s most “cashless regions” in the world.

Mobile wallets, such as M-Pesa in Kenya, have worked because of the large numbers of “unbanked” people living there.

“Unbanked” is a term that has been used to describe people who are too poor to hold a traditional bank account.

But while the unbanked may be poor, they have been central to driving mobile payment systems such as M-Pesa, or Airtel’s Mr Money in Sierra Leone, and in turn creating a new virtual industry and making money for the telcos.

Source: DW (link opens in a new window)

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banking, financial inclusion, financial innovation, mobile money