Mobile Banking: CGAP Spurs Market to Reach 25 Million People by 2012

    NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The global microfinance
resource center CGAP today is making a new four year commitment to identify,
fund, research and champion technology enabled banking services for 25 million
people in 20 countries. CGAP CEO Elizabeth Littlefield will announce the plan
at the Clinton Global Initiative's "Mobile Banking Call to Action."

    "The brick and mortar bank branch system can only go so far. With cell
phone service and a local shop handling the cash, mobile banking can reach
every village and barrio in the developing world," said Littlefield.
"Technology can enable us to reach millions of poor people who, until now,
have been left out of the formal financial system," she added.

    The commitment builds on more than five years of work on mobile banking
and microfinance. In that time CGAP has advised and shaped projects with a
dozen providers in Asia, Africa and Latin America and conducted in-depth
policy assessments in 10 countries. From this, CGAP has published a series of
white papers focusing on business models, client needs, and regulatory
conditions. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has generously co-funded
this work since 2006.

    "We're optimistic and energized to tackle the challenges and unleash
mobile banking's potential to transform lives. That means better understanding
what poor clients need and want, helping regulators balance consumer
protection with innovation, and working with phone companies and banks to
create viable business models," said Littlefield.

    Addressing these issues, CGAP is making a commitment to fund and advise
microfinance groups, banks, and mobile phone providers with $10 million to
find business models that succeed, researching the needs of poor and
vulnerable people for a range of services, especially savings, and engaging
telecom and banking regulators throughout the developing world.

    Focus countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, DR Congo,
Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan,
Philippines, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

    CGAP (The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is the world's leading
resource for the advancement of microfinance. CGAP provides the financial
industry, governments and investors with objective information, expert
opinion, and innovative solutions to effectively expand access to finance for
poor people around the world. Learn more at


For further information:

For further information: Una Gallagher Pulizzi, +1-202-473-8869,, or Jim Rosenberg, +1-202-473-1084,, both for CGAP Web Site:

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