Monday, July 6, 2015

DINERO MÓVIL: Los servicios financieros a través del teléfono conquistan los países en desarrollo del Sur

Somalilandia (Photo: El País/Planeta Futuro)
This fascinating report titled Dinero Móvil: Los servicios financieros a través del teléfono conquistan los países en desarollo del Sur (Mobile Money: Financial services via telephone conquer developing countries of the South) by Marco Bello and IMTFI Fellow Gianlucca Iazzolino provides a comprehensive comparative analysis of three regions that live on international remittances, have little access to formal financial services and where there has been a rapid spread of mobile phone and mobile money use. In the "non-existent country" of Somaliland, the Zaad mobile money service is driving inflation and dollarization of the economy because it deals only in US dollars and not Somaliland shillings. In post-earthquake Haiti, mobile money services like Thco-Tcho Mobile (TTM) and Lajancash have become popular mainly among the middle-class and not the poorest of the poor because of the transfer fees and documents needed to open accounts. Haitians are also afraid of money "disappearing" and therefore only deposit smaller amounts into mobile wallets. In Burkina Faso, where even illiterate elders know how to navigate mobile phones, services like Airtel Money and Mobi Cash are making strides in providing more effective mobile money transfer as well as microcredit loan repayment options. In the 2012 food crisis in the Sahel region of northern Burkina Faso, Oxfam tested delivering aid funds to beneficiaries through mobile money and found it to be more cost effective and less risky.

Read the Somaliland piece in English here.

Read the entire report in Spanish here.

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