In a month that has already seen the announcement oftechnology giant, Apple entering the mobile payments space, the Bill andMelinda Gates Foundation has launched a challenge for a payments industryseeking to encourage participants to improve the acceptance of mobile paymentsin many developing countries around the world.
As part of the challenge, the Bill and Melinda GatesFoundation have asked the industry to submit concepts and plans on means ofimproving mobile payment acceptance and in return, firms that submit ideas areentered into a pool to win a grant of $100,000 which could be extended to a sumof $1 million depending on how successful trials are within developing markets.
Commenting on the challenge, Kosta Peric, deputy director,financial services for the poor initiative at the Bill & Melinda GatesFoundation said, “Now, we need your ideas-and your commitment-to help empowerbillions in the developing world to take control of their financial lives andbuild brighter futures for themselves, their families and communities.”
There is no question that mobile payments has theopportunity to radically change financial inclusion around the world howeveracceptance of mobile payments has been largely limited in developing markets asmany merchants do not maintain the terminals capable of handing the technologically advanced payments. However withfoundations as well as the broader payments industry ramping up interest anddevelopment in mobile payments, it will only be a matter of time beforeacceptance improves.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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