The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, together with the GSM Association have announced a new program that expands the availability of mobile banking services in the developing world. Called ‘The Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Program’, it will work with mobile operators, banks, government and more to encourage and foster expansion of reliable, affordable and practical mobile financial services. The program is supported by an initial $12.5 USD grant from Bill & Melinda’s foundation.
This initial grant is part of the foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor initiative. The goal is to work with a range of public and private partners to bring affordable savings accounts and other financial services to the poor in the developing world. The foundation believes strongly in savings, and wants to encourage those in developing countries to save to protect against disasters, and built their assets to provide new opportunities for their children.
Bob Christen, director of Financial Services for the Poor initiative (at the B&M Foundation) commented:
“Traditional financial services are often too costly and inconvenient for people who earn less than US$2 a day to obtain, and too expensive for banks to provide… Technology like mobile phones is making it possible to bring low-cost, high-quality financial services to millions of people in the developing world so they can manage life’s risks and build financial security.”
Very commendable. For more information you can hit up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.