It can be concluded the Russia-Tajikistan corridor offers some interesting insights on how one might link financial products to remittance flows, but it also provides insights on the basic challenges accounting for why no significant scale has yet been reached.
As our understanding of the factors that lead to customer adoption of branchless banking expands, there is a growing consensus that for international remittances services to reach a significant level of scale, they will require an existing mobile money ecosystem that allows for downstream transactions which give users access to a wider array of cost-effective services and products such as payments and access to savings.
Last week, we began a blog series and released a CGAP report on international remittances through mobile banking channels. The series continues this week with guest blogger Paolo Baltao, President of G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom in the Philippines. G-Xchange’s GCASH is one of the first mobile wallet services in the world and has been offering international remittances since 2004. In this post, Paolo shares some of the lessons GXI has learned in the past eight years.
Since remittances to developing countries were estimated at about $351 billion for 2011, capturing even a small share of this market could be a transformational opportunity for mobile money providers – right?
The payments sector in Russia has over recent years been at the forefront of innovation. The hope is that new developments will lead to an easily accessible and interoperable payment system that combines the advantages of various channels.
Are payment dongles like Square democratizing retail electronic payments by eliminating the need for dedicated point-of-sale terminals. Is the growth curve of Square an indication that similar low-cost acquiring solutions could trigger an explosion of merchant payments in developing countries?
As part of our efforts to promote branchless banking as a way of reducing the cost and expanding the reach of financial services, the Technology Program monitors the uptake of branchless banking around the world.
Just as the dust settled after a controversial entrance of new players in the Russian microfinance sector about a year ago – those claiming themselves to be ”microfinance organizations” and yet charging 730% interest per annum, another “innovative microfinance” product has totally shocked visitors of the Russian Post, as reflected in a multitude of blogs and in numerous media articles published in recent weeks.