Bill Gates Foundation To Bolster Mobile Banking In Emerging Markets

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a grant program that will have interesting effects in the mobile banking sector:

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has agreed to help fund a massive rollout of projects enabling poor mobile phone users to transfer money using their handsets, an industry body announced Tuesday.

"There's 1.7 billion people in the emerging markets who don't have a bank account but do have a mobile phone, so they could use their mobile phone to conduct financial transactions," explained Michael O'Hara, marketing director or the GSMA.

"The target is to reach 20 million additional unbanked people with the service by 2012," he added.

About 12 mobile phone banking programmes have been launched worldwide in the last few years, with about 10 million users benefiting so far.

The Gates Foundation said the grant was part of its programme to extend financial services to the poor who are often without access to a simple savings account.

Read more @ AFP.

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