CGAP, Grameen Foundation and MTN Uganda to develop mobile financial products for the poor

Financial services for the poor

The new initiative will receive $1 million of funding from the three parties and will build upon the research carried out by the Grameen Foundation Application Laboratory (AppLab) in Uganda to leverage MTN’s Mobile Money service. The intention is to make financial services accessible to the poor, helping them to manage their finances and invest in productive assets such as education and health services. (view press release)

According to the Grameen Foundation, 2.7 billion people in the world don’t have access to a bank account and are underserved by financial institutions, mobile money is now opening up access to financial services for these people but there is still a need for a more suitable product offering. The goal of the initiative is to research and develop further innovation in mobile money to develop an effective solution in bringing appropriate and commercially viable financial services to the poor.

Tilman Ehrbeck, CEO of CGAP, says “to achieve our goal of financial inclusion for all, the industry needs to move beyond mobile payments and provide a full array of pro-poor mobile financial products.” Themba Khumalo, CEO of MTN Uganda says the initiative “will ensure that the rural poor have access to otherwise inaccessible financial services as well as better social services, such as education, health and investment opportunities.”

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