MWC 09: Gates' cash means mobile payments for all

Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged $12.5 million to extending mobile phone payments to the ‘unbanked.’

Mobile payments are being heralded as the next big thing that will revolutionise how we pay for goods around the world, however, until now not much has been done for those who are not necessarily so advanced in basic phone usage, or indeed those without bank accounts.

Today, at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, efforts were made to redress the balance. The GSMA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged their collective support to ensure that mobile payments can become a reality for both those in developed and developing countries, both the banked and so-called unbanked.

A $12.5 million funding injection from the foundation will certainly go some way towards helping their philanthropic Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme succeed.

The programme will work in unison with mobile players, financial institutions such as banks, governments and development organisations to make mobile financial services an affordable reality for everyone.

"There are over one billion people in emerging markets today who don't have a bank account but do have a mobile phone," said the GSMA's chief executive and member of the board Rob Conway, in a statement.

"This represents a huge opportunity and mobile operators are perfectly placed to bring mobile financial services to this largely untapped consumer base."

The foundation's investment falls under its umbrella Financial Services for the Poor initiative.

"Traditional financial services are often too costly and inconvenient for people who earn less than $2 a day to obtain, and too expensive for banks to provide," said Bob Christen, director of the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in a statement.

"Technology like mobile phones is making it possible to bring low-cost, high-quality financial services to millions of people in the developing world so they can manage life's risks and build financial security."

Featured Resources

Four cyber security essentials that your board of directors wants to know

The insights to help you deliver what they need

Download now

Data: A resource much too valuable to leave unprotected

Protect your data to protect your company

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

Recommended

How the Fira de Barcelona is bringing Wi-Fi 6 to some of Europe's biggest events
wifi & hotspots

How the Fira de Barcelona is bringing Wi-Fi 6 to some of Europe's biggest events

14 Feb 2020
LG pulls out of MWC amid coronavirus fears
Mobile

LG pulls out of MWC amid coronavirus fears

5 Feb 2020

Most Popular

macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBooks
operating systems

macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBooks

16 Nov 2020
Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G review: A tragically brilliant Mate
Mobile Phones

Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G review: A tragically brilliant Mate

26 Nov 2020
How computing has revolutionised Formula 1
Sponsored

How computing has revolutionised Formula 1

11 Nov 2020