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back to article Mobile money - a helping hand for the poor?

Browsing the NARS counter at Selfridges, I was quite taken by some eye shadow and was just picturing myself as Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra when my friend Rod called from Cairo. I’m a bit psychic like that. He was at the GSMA mobile payments conference investigating the future of NFC. Apparently there are loads of trials going …

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Gold at the bottom of the pyramid....

I sat next to a very interesting chap from Sun at the Cambridge Ring annual dinner this year. He was in charge of getting 1 Bn Java SIM cards into the world, cheifly by riding the m-pesa and other mobile telephone payment systems wave. The stranglehold of Western Union is if anything stronger than portrayed, and the opportunity to build a banking and telephony system in tandem greater, particularly in the Middle East and Subcontinent.

We also got a keynote from Maurice Wilkes!

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Has PayPal's been there, done it already?

I signed up for PayPal's mobile phone purchasing last year but I've not used the facility yet. Has anyone any feedback - favourable or unfavourable - or experience?

I remember it seemed cheap and easy to use.

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Tom
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Jan Chipchase (sp?) tells a similar story

Jan Chipchase's talk at TED tells about how people use phone credit as a method of sending money back home (admittedly from the city to the countryside). Microbanking and mobile phones are two very effective means of improving the economic state of some very poor people. It often amazes me how much we take for granted (free bank accounts, free phones, free bill payment) simply because we've passed the point in our wealth where it isn't economically viable to charge us for those things.

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