As part of the "Democratising Finance" series, the Financial Times has analyzed how mobile technology is increasing access to finance in Africa and Latin America, albeit at very different rates. Thanks to mobile money transfer companies such as M-Pesa in Kenya, which sends an average of $44m daily, Africa has become the undisputed leader when it comes to providing innovative financial solutions to the unbanked.
The simple technology behind mobile payments is revolutionising access to finance for millions of people in emerging markets. Africa — where less than a quarter of people have a bank account, but more than 80 per cent have access to mobile phones — is leading the charge. In Latin America large populations also live in poverty beyond the formal financial system — but with widespread mobile-phone access. But mobile payment has not caught on to the same degree.