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Mobile banking closes poverty gap

Mobile banking has transformed the way people in the developing world transfer money and now it is poised to offer more sophisticated banking services which could make a real difference to people's lives.

Currently 2.7bn people living in the developing world do not have access to any sort of financial service. At the same time 1bn people throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia own a mobile phone.

As a result, mobile money services are springing up all over the developing world. According to mobile industry group the GSMA there are now 65 mobile money systems operating around the globe, with a further 82 about to be launched.

Most offer basic services such as money transfers, which are incredibly important for migrant workers who need to send cash back to their families.

M-Pesa in Kenya is perhaps the most famous of these and it has attracted 9.4 million Kenyans in just under three years. More...

05-28-2010 16:07