The wide availability of mobile devices is changing the landscape for financial services in emerging markets. In countries lacking the infrastructure for more traditional business models the cell phone (or increasingly a smart device) has filled the gap transforming into a platform for payments, banking and financial education. The Huffington Post covers a few stories about the evolution in financial model happening in South America.
In the Global South, people with little money to their name struggle to open bank accounts, get loans, and make payments. While rural areas are particularly difficult to reach with financial services, even residents of cities face immense challenges: high minimum savings requirements, shortages of banking agents, and limited financial knowledge. Mobile money services are emerging to offer banking solutions that are inexpensive and widely available. Dhaka, Jakarta, Nairobi, and Lilongwe are all currently witnessing the explosion of these new mobile technology-based services.