Managing Mobile Banking to Address the Needs and Protect the Vulnerability of Poor People in Bangladesh

20 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2015

See all articles by Jerry Buckland

Jerry Buckland

Menno Simons College, Canadian Mennonite University

Iqbal Ahmed Chowdhury

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

Date Written: December 23, 2015

Abstract

Mobile banking places a wide set of financial services – transferring money for savings, investment, paying bills, to relatives – into the palm of a person’s hand. Mobile money transfers have rapidly grown in Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, and is set to grow rapidly in Bangladesh in the next few years. Proponents of mobile banking such as the Gates Foundation (2015), World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (World Bank 2015), and the G20 report (Klapper and Singer 2014) are claiming that this technology has the potential to make a significant dent in poverty. Regarding the impact on citizens, the G20 report identifies benefits (e.g., lower costs, increased control, and increased women’s empowerment) and challenges (e.g., limited consumer knowledge, customer experience, and gender disparities to mobile phone users) (Klapper and Singer 2014). The report highlights the role of government and business but does not identify the critical role of development practitioners. Moreover, most of the work regarding mobile banking is being undertaken by industry proponents (Duncombe 2012). And new technologies – such as the green revolution, agricultural mechanization, the internet – have had a mixed impact on poor people. Mobile banking’s rapid growth and the mixed poverty alleviation record of other technologies mean that it is essential for development practitioners to engage in planning, implementation and evaluating the impact of mobile banking to ensure it benefits poor people. Development practitioners can play an important role regarding mobile banking to ensure that it meets the needs of poor people, that it builds on their capacities, and that it protects their vulnerabilities.

Keywords: mobile banking, poverty, innovation, vulnerability

Suggested Citation

Buckland, Jerry and Chowdhury, Iqbal Ahmed, Managing Mobile Banking to Address the Needs and Protect the Vulnerability of Poor People in Bangladesh (December 23, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2707592 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2707592

Jerry Buckland (Contact Author)

Menno Simons College, Canadian Mennonite University ( email )

520 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 2N2 R3C 0G2
Canada
204-953-3859 (Phone)
204-783-3699 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mscollege.ca/

Iqbal Ahmed Chowdhury

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology ( email )

19/A Zakaria Monzil
Shraboni R/A, Pathantula
Sylhet, 3100
Bangladesh

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