Branchless banking has great potential to extend the distribution of financial services to poor people who are not reached by traditional bank branch networks; it lowers the cost of delivery, including costs both to banks of building and maintaining a delivery channel and to customers of accessing services (e.g., travel or queuing times).
In a fast increasing number, policy makers and regulators in other developing and transition countries are embracing “transformational branchless banking”—the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and nonbank retail channels to reduce costs of delivering financial services to clients beyond the reach of traditional banking.
This Brief, a joint effort of CGAP and the GSM Association, discusses the results of the first study on mobile money and the unbanked—those without access to formal financial services—estimated to be almost 4 billion worldwide.
This paper presents the first public findings on how low-income people view and use m-banking, using results of a survey of 515 low-income individuals in South Africa. Three hundred of those surveyed do not use m-banking, while 215 are customers of WIZZIT, a startup mobile banking provider. WIZZIT targets the 16 million South Africans who lack or have difficulty accessing formal banking services.