Mobile Phones are Strategic Tools for Promoting Access to Financial Service in Underprivileged Communities in Developing Countries

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Authors : Osman Haruna


The unprecedented rate at which mobile phone is penetrating the socio-fibre of society, especially its ability not only to facilitate communication but also aid in money transfer to loved ones and relations in sub-urban and rural communities makes it crucial for researchers to investigate the relationship between this communication device and administration of financial services. Besides the article being reviewed the reviewer consulted other reputable current publications on the role mobile phone plays in delivery financial services to the poor thereby extending the scope of the literature material. The article itself examined various papers on “how banks can translate the potential of mobile phones into greater financial access for poor people”. It came out unequivocally that the potential of mobile phones to assist in meeting the financial services needs of the poor has been driven by rapid expansion into previously un-served regions and communities of developing countries over the last decade. In most developing economies, governments five-year tax  holiday and favourable regulatory environment for promoting investments in the mobile telecommunications sector all goes a long way to explain why a good number of international companies have thrown in heavy investment to reach a lot more rural and sub-urban communities. The study further revealed that the various governmental interventions such as waving import duty and taxes on mobile handsets and accessories all help in rendering the prices of handsets very affordable thereby enabling the masses to procure these devices at very reasonable prices to enhance the mobile banking business. It is doubtless to assert that the mobile phone technology has really revolutionized the socio-economic set-up of mankind. Despite its ability to stimulate effective and timely communication it also facilitate the administration of financial services to alleviate poverty in developing economies. It is therefore essential for stakeholders especially developing partners and manufacturer to join forces and make the device much cheaper for the poor so as help reduce poverty. 


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