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Wednesday, 20th May 2015

Mobile Financial Services in Latin America & the Caribbean

Source: GSM Association

From the Introduction:

Great progress has been made in deepening financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) over the last three years, according to the most recent World Bank Global Findex statistics. The region has seen a major increase in the number of adults with bank accounts, from 39% in 2011 to 51% in 2014. Still, approximately half of all adults in LAC remain unbanked, ranging from more than 80% in Haiti and Nicaragua, to less than 35% in Brazil, Jamaica, and Costa Rica.

In parallel, mobile subscriber rates across the region continue to increase and are expected to reach almost 60% of the total LAC population by 2020, broadly in line with the global average. Mobile money services —which allow the unbanked to use basic mobile phones to make and receive payments, and which rely on a network of transactional points outside of bank branches —are a powerful tool for deepening financial access in developing markets. Mobile money services can be offered by a range of providers, including mobile operators, financial institutions, and third parties, all of which play a critical role in building a healthy digital financial ecosystem...

In this context, and bolstered by the contributions of banks and non-banks in select markets, LAC has emerged as a strong mobile money newcomer. Last year the region had the fastest growth in new registered mobile money accounts in the world, and a greater number of deployments are showing signs of reaching scale: three mobile money services have crossed the 1 million active customer milestone in diverse LAC markets and through distinct commercial models.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

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