Mobile money is helping to make the financial services industry more efficient and inclusive. This has opened access to a broad range of essential financial services for millions of unserved and underserved people. In the Handbook, we explore regulatory challenges that have faced industry since its inception, and recommend approaches key stakeholders can take towards creating an enabling environment. The Handbook also accounts for recent regulatory considerations surrounding mobile money taxation and data privacy.
The Mobile Money Policy and Regulatory Handbook is part of the GSMA’s efforts to promote such collaboration. The Handbook assembles a range of
key considerations for financial regulators and other stakeholders in the mobile money industry under one cover. It is meant to serve as a practical guide to the issues, a window into industry perspectives, a signpost for regulatory best practice and a portal to more information, drawing on the GSMA’s unique insights into the mobile sector and mobile money industry. As mobile money continues to bridge the gap in financial inclusion for many all over the world, the need for a sound understanding of the policy and regulatory issues has never been greater.
Using mobile money to build efficient and inclusive financial ecosystems
Mobile money allows digital money storage, payments and transfers. The spread of mobile money has often served as a critical step towards creating a functional financial system in countries where the financial sector is still underdeveloped. In some markets, mobile money is already reaching huge numbers of low-income and previously unbanked customers, while moving millions of low-income households from a cash-only economy into the formal financial system.
Targeted interventions can include:
- Addressing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership that prevents women from accessing mobile financial services. Those who own mobile phones are more likely to be aware of mobile money, have a mobile money account and be active users of the service than those who do not own a phone.
- Adopting flexible agent regulation to improve access to mobile money agents for women. Easy access to a mobile money agent is crucial for women, and uptake and continued use depends on agents being available to help them trust the service. Women usually require more interactions with agents than men before they feel comfortable using the service.
- Using tiered KYC to make it easier for women to sign up for mobile money and to streamline the registration process. Women are also less likely to have the official identification documents required to open a mobile money account. In some markets, a man’s signature is required for women to open a bank account and make domestic money transfers.