Mobile Financial Services: Regulatory Approaches to Enable Access

Enabling financial access through mobile financial services
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This policy note provides an overview of mobile financial services. It discusses regulatory implications of emerging service and business models, and addresses key policy questions.

The widespread use of mobile communications has created new channels, instruments and business models for extending financial services to populations traditionally excluded from formal financial systems. The mobile phone can function as a payment instrument or as a channel for provision of electronic financial services.

The note illustrates business models and innovative policies in mobile financial services using examples from different countries in the emerging world. The questions discussed in this note address the following policy implications:

  • Enabling models of mobile financial services that expand financial inclusion and increase efficiency of financial sector;
  • Regulating issuance of new mobile payment instruments like e-money;
  • Regulating use of mobile phones as a channel;
  • Consumer protection and financial literacy challenges created by mobile financial services;
  • AML/CFT concerns;
  • Supervision of mobile financial services;
  • Implications of mandating interoperability and interconnection of mobile services.

About this Publication

By Alliance for Financial Inclusion