Two billion adults remain without access to basic banking and financial services. Even though numbers have been falling of late, according to the World Bank, these numbers represent both a massive global humanitarian challenge.
Although smartphone and Internet use is growing in Bangladesh and similar countries, the intelligent use of USSD—a technology that is understood and used by millions in the developing world—can bring the benefits of the current digital revolution forward.
In Algeria, big things are going on in digital. Under the government’s e-Algerie plan, public services, businesses and the population at large will get connected, with high speed fiber networks and 4G LTE as the foundation
Over the course of the past ten years, the financial services industry has experienced a series of profound shocks that have impacted how the industry is regulated and managed. With the rise of the mobile phone, the opportunity to develop alternatives to the traditional banking model has never been greater.
Closing the digital gender gap is crucial if we are really serious about “connecting the next billion,” or as some prefer to say, “connecting everyone.” A key point that Girls in ICT Day underscores is that the challenge of connecting everyone is not primarily a matter of overcoming the physical barriers to reaching people in inaccessible places. It’s at least as much about surmounting cultural barriers and skewed financial priorities that make it difficult for women to access the digital world even where its benefits are already available.
Why mobile? Because, in my view, it is the easiest way for young people to become entrepreneurs. A successful mobile app or mobile solution startup is the quickest way for anyone to develop a new venture from scratch, and there are abundant opportunities available to developers with good applications to succeed in a wide variety of markets.
Research shows the massive commercial impact when micro-entrepreneurs have access to real business education. The reality is that the most likely vehicle for delivering that education will be mobile technologies and services.