Branchless and Mobile Banking Solutions for the Poor: A Survey

Innovations, Vol. 6, No. 4, Fall 2011

18 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2011 Last revised: 17 Aug 2014

Ahmed Dermish

Bankable Frontier Associates

Christoph Kneiding

World Bank - Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP); German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Paul Leishman

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ignacio Mas

Tufts University

Date Written: January 23, 2011

Abstract

This paper reviews the growing literature that has spawned around branchless and mobile banking in developing countries over the last five years. Around 2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to formal financial services, and yet 1 billion of them have a mobile phone. Branchless banking systems take advantage of increasingly ubiquitous real-time mobile communications networks to bring banking services into everyday retail stores, thereby alleviating the lack of banking infrastructure in the communities where poor people live and work. Most deployments are quite recent, and hence there is a shortage of hard empirical evidence relating to them. One mobile banking scheme in particular, M-PESA in Kenya, has shown phenomenal success, and has been a catalyst for much of the research. Here we review the emerging literature in terms of the definitions and model taxonomies employed; the status and drivers of global adoption of these schemes; the take-up and usage patterns of customers, and their socio-economic impacts; and the regulatory issues. Our twin objectives with this paper are to stimulate further research on these questions and to help policymakers and practitioners focus their continued efforts in creating an enabling environment for branchless banking.

Keywords: Money, Access to Finance, Financial Inclusion, Mobile Banking, Branchless Banking

Suggested Citation

Dermish, Ahmed and Kneiding, Christoph and Leishman, Paul and Mas, Ignacio, Branchless and Mobile Banking Solutions for the Poor: A Survey (January 23, 2011). Innovations, Vol. 6, No. 4, Fall 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1745967 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1745967

Ahmed Dermish

Bankable Frontier Associates ( email )

Suite 303
48 Grove Street
Somerville, MA 02144
United States

Christoph Kneiding

World Bank - Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) ( email )

1818 H St NW
Washington, DC
United States

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Paul Leishman

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Ignacio Mas (Contact Author)

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

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