IFC and Partners Cosponsor Mobile Banking Summit in Egypt to Foster Sustainable Commercial Solutions
Cairo, Egypt/Washington, D.C., May 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group; the GSM Association; the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor; and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development are organizing the first mobile money summit in Cairo. The goal is to stimulate greater collaboration between stakeholders and help foster sustainable commercial solutions. It is also an opportunity to showcase innovative solutions and share experiences from around the world.
The increase in mobile phone services in developing countries creates a real opportunity to transform lives by bringing low-cost financial services to millions of underserved people. Mobile money transactions are significantly less costly and more efficient than physical transactions. They allow people to move out of cash-based informal systems and fully participate in the formal economy. Mobile banking has enormous potential for organizations that can facilitate it and open new markets.
Mohsen Khalil, IFC Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies, said, “Access to financial services is a key instrument for enabling full participation in the formal economy. Mobile banking is one of the most promising areas for extending these services to underserved populations, particularly given the increasing reach and penetration of mobile services in developing markets. IFC is pleased to participate in this first summit on mobile money, both as a sponsor and to share and learn experiences with others who are at the forefront of innovative approaches to mobile money solutions in developing markets.”
IFC invests in innovative mobile operators and financial institutions, while leveraging its relationships with international corporations to develop, scale, and replicate successful models throughout the developing world, particularly in frontier markets. IFC also provides advisory services to enterprises that play a vital role in providing the full access platform required for developing sustainable mobile banking ecosystems.
IFC supports policy and regulatory reforms in more than 80 countries to make competitive telecommunications services more broadly accessible. Since 1995, IFC has provided over $2 billion in loans to support sector reforms, capacity building, and information technology infrastructure projects in underserved areas. IFC has also mobilized $7 billion for private sector investments to improve information technology infrastructure and services in developing countries.
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