Gates Foundation Gives $12.5M for Mobile Banking to World’s Poor

Feb 2009
Barcelona, Spain, February, 17 2009 - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says it’s giving $12.5 million that will expanding banking opportunities via mobile phones for people living on less than $2 per day in parts of the world.

The Seattle foundation announced the program, Mobile Money for the Unbanked, with the European mobile communications organization GSMA in Barcelona, Spain.

The program, according to the Gates Foundation, will support about 20 projects in developing countries, in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and plans to reach 20 million unbanked people with mobile financial services by 2012.

“Traditional financial services are often too costly and inconvenient for people who earn less than $2 a day to obtain, and too expensive for banks to provide. Technology like mobile phones is making it possible to bring low-cost, high-quality financial services to millions of people in the developing world so they can manage life’s risks and build financial security,” said Bob Christen, director of the financial services for the poor initiative at the Gates Foundation, in a statement.

Source : Business Journal

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