There's been a great deal of excitement over the last few years regarding the potential for mobile money to solve a host of development problems. An increasing number of post-conflict countries are all experimenting with or thinking about mobile money implementations. In addition to the normal issues and challenges facing policymakers and service providers, post-conflict and post-disaster countries face additional problems that merely serve to exacerbate the overall challenges with mobile money.
Rural areas, marked by dispersed populations and limited infrastructure, pose enormous challenges to financial service providers trying to reach different segments of the rural population, and it remains an underserved market.
This pura vida spirit could also be used to describe the status of financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean, as the industry proactively pushes for product innovation to increase access and lower cost, while confronting challenges like overindebtedness and rural finance.
Despite years of donor programs that have had an explicit goal of helping build the market for capacity building, the market—where it exists—is highly subsidized with few viable providers able to adapt to an evolving landscape. Can we change this?