Unbanked consumers bypassing banks, going straight into mobile money, says Citigroup
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Just as the mobile phone transformed the communications industry, it seems clear that mobile financial services are poised to transform the financial sector. Speaking on the second day of Mobile World Congress 2014 here in Barcelona, Michael Corbat, chief executive officer of U.S. multinational financial services company Citigroup, made the point that while more than 3 billion people have a mobile phone, only 2 billion people have a bank account.
And just as a decade ago when people who’d never had a landline telephone jumped straight into the world of mobile phones, the same is going to happen in the financial sector: People without a bank account are going to start using mobile financial services without having ever stepped foot inside a bank.
Giving the example of Transfer, Citigroup’s joint mobile banking venture with America Móvil in Mexico, Corbat said that of the scheme’s 1.2 million active customers, 60 percent were new to banking.