21st Feb 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is a fertile territory for branchless banking, and particularly for mobile money transfers. Up to 80 percent of the population of some countries in the region remains unbanked. In this review of mobile money transfers in the Asia-Pacific, we bring together material from reports by international organisations, discussion lists, industry reviews and academic papers. We investigate mobile money transfers as one component of branchless banking.
Mobile coverage is increasing, and some areas in the region are always going to be too remote for a widespread banking network. For the potential of branchless banking to be realised, there needs to be regulation that enables innovation, but continues to protect the consumer. For sustained and profitable use of mobile money transfers they need to fit with social and cultural practice; and flexible business and regulatory models.A partnership between mobile network operators (MNOs) and banking providers is the most likely to provide payments, savings and access to credit.