The banks are evil. They work with the regulators to slow down the roll-out of mobile money and in doing so keep the poorest people poor.
I worked in Mobile Money for the GSMA and went to meetings with operators, banks and regulators. They all make noises about "working together" but the truth is that the biggest success, M-Pesa in Kenya happened on the quiet without any grand plan.
I sat next to the architect for M-pesa at a conference. Someone on the stage was extolling the virtues of mobile money and m-pesa in particular so I asked the chap next to me "is he right", the answer I got was "Yes, but what he's missing is that it worked because the banks didn't see us coming".
Now they have seen mobile money coming they don't want the telcos eating their lunch. They ignore the fact that due to M-pesa the number of bank accounts in Kenya has tripled and instead take the view that they don't want to do banking for poor people and they don't want anyone else doing it either.
So they scream "know your customer", "money laundering" and "financing of terrorism" as reasons why the telcos shouldn't be allowed to do it. Many of the poorest people in the world don't even know their date of birth much less have a piece of paper proving it.
There is a reason for this. Banking is the easiest business in the world. Stock is other people's money. In any other business if you sold the same stock to lots of people you'd be done for fraud. Try to invent the idea of a "liquidity ratio" in any other business you'd go to prison for trading while insolvent.
It's so easy the telcos can afford to do it for free. They give consumers free money transfer because they know that when the money arrives at the other end the recipient will buy a top-up and that's where they make their money.
If I want to send £100 from London to Paris, Western Union will charge me £14 to do it. I sat at a fat cats dinner financed by Western Union and thought "I'm being fed by the poorest people in the world".
Gates is right in "We need banking not banks".