Mobile money represents a stunning breakthrough
in the goal of expanding financial inclusion across
the developing world. However, as of
now, most mobile money offerings are limited to simple money
transfer functions, falling far short of the menu of personal
financial services enjoyed by formal bank customers.
At the Brookings Blum Roundtable, participants agreed
that the potential impact of mobile money on poverty
reduction and economic development could be further
enhanced by expanding the range of financial services
available through mobile phones. Progress is expected to
occur as the mobile money sector matures and continues
to innovate, supported by the spread of improved technologies such as smartphones, near-field communication and
biometric identification. Here we take stock of progress
in the application of mobile money to the provision of
four financial services: savings, credit, insurance and
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