> Posted by Center Staff
The World Bank Group recently released a new book entitled Protecting Mobile Money Against Financial Crimes: Global Policy Challenges and Solutions. The book is a guide to preserving the integrity of mobile banking, which is revolutionizing the way financial services are delivered to unbanked clients in rural and remote areas.
Based on fieldwork in eight markets including Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and Zambia, and research in more than 10 countries including India and South Africa, the book suggests approaches that help mitigate the risks associated with mobile money. Along with guidance on developing effective anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulatory frameworks, which could give greater financial access to more people, this book assists the industry in conducting sound and objective risk assessments. It is also the first book to provide practical solutions to the challenge of managing weak identification infrastructure and regulating retail mobile money outlets.
The G20 has placed financial inclusion on its priority agenda, to help over two billion adults worldwide who continue to be exploited by predatory lending practices and deprived of access to financial institutions. According to GSMA, which represents the interests of the global communications industry, more than 80 percent of mobile banking services are located in developing markets but more than 1 billion mobile phone users still have no access to formal financial services.
“The opportunity is ripe to replicate the success of services like Kenya’s M-Pesa, which is used by 9 million adults to save and transfer money,” said Pierre-Laurent Chatain, lead author of the book. Since being launched in 2007, mobile banking service M-Pesa has helped over 40 percent of Kenya’s poorest to start saving without incurring bank fees, expand the reach of their small enterprises, and safely send money to relatives in rural areas, boosting consumer spending in the countryside as a result. “However, poorly designed regulatory frameworks can hamper the delivery of mobile money services,” Chatain added.
As mobile money expands even further into countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and India, the book provides policy makers and industry stakeholders with frameworks that will enable them to deliver mobile banking services to unbanked clients more effectively.
The book is available for sale at: http://publications.worldbank.org.