Tag: mobile money

Ericsson Emergency Wallet could bring humanitarian aid

The mobile wallet solution will enable the distribution and use of digital aid in emergency situations.

According to a recent press release from Ericsson, the Swedish-based multinational telecommunications and equipment corporation is developing Ericsson Emergency Wallet, which is a mobile financial services solution designed for immediate deployment directly following a disaster or crises to support both affected populations and humanitarian organizations providing aid to these devastated regions.

The idea behind the emergency wallet is to help bring relief where financial infrastructure is lacking.

While this mobile wallet will no doubt be beneficial when a crisis strikes in any part of the world, the Ericsson Emergency Wallet is chiefly being developed for use in emergency circumstances where financial infrastructure is poor or virtually non-existent. It will provide relief workers and impacted populations with relief funds, helping to overcome problems that often arise with handling cash such as traceability, safety and expense.

The Ericsson Emergency Wallet could extend the benefits of relief funds to the people who desperately need them.

Ericsson Emergency Wallet - Mobile FundsAccording to the press release, there is an urgent need for an emergency wallet solution. The reason is that mobile money and mobile wallets are among the safest, fastest and most efficient methods of extending the basic financial transaction benefits to the people who require them.

Many of the telecommunication company’s humanitarian partners have requested digital financial services solutions for disasters and other situations of emergency, and Ericsson has already presented its wallet plans at the World Humanitarian Summit, in support of the United Nations’ Connecting Business Initiative.

Moreover, the design and prototyping of the emergency wallet is co-funded through the Level One Project from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are helping to build a new ecosystem that creates better opportunities for global financial inclusion. This unique combination of partners will be a powerful catalyst for bringing mobile financial services to humanitarian relief efforts everywhere,” stated Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson.

The Ericsson Emergency Wallet shows the potential ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has to revolutionize humanitarian response.

Mobile payments brings banking services to the unbanked of the world

Customers that have never had access to financial institutions are using smartphones to change their capabilities.

Many of the countries in Africa have been extremely underserved by banks for a range of different reasons, but mobile payments are now bringing financial services to customers who have always been unbanked.

This is especially true in Nigeria, where mobile money is becoming an important driver in the local economy.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched a massive initiative to boost the use and access of mobile payments and money. Among the reasons that this is an important effort is that it will provide them with a tremendously larger market as it will mean that those who were underbanked or completely unbanked will suddenly be able to access financial services by way of their mobile devices.

With mobile payments and banking, location no longer presents a barrier to being able to reach consumers.

This access to mobile banking is bringing individuals who had been far removed from participation in much of mainstream commerce into the ability to take part in widespread economic transactions. Therefore, this means that consumers that had previously been outside of the center of commerce will be accessible to industries beyond simple payments and into pensions, insurance, and other areas.

Mobile Banking - AfricaNone of those industries had been able to establish physical locations that would allow them to be able to sell to consumers in the traditional way, but by using mobile commerce and accepting transactions over smartphones, this has changed the game, entirely.

As the growth in telecom and smartphone and mobile technologies continues to grow and expand, and as the financial services industry increasingly rises to the challenge of offering mobile payments and banking services, the situation has altered across entire African countries. People who live in rural communities that are nowhere near phone lines and cables are gaining access to banking and transactions through financial institutions and telecoms such as UBA and Airtel, MTN and Diamond Bank, First Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ecobank and Globacom.

Similarly, M-PESA has been making a tremendous splash in reaching the unbanked and rural Kenya, where the mobile money system has taken off extensively, with 17 million users (one third of the adult population of the country) and 40,000 agents. Every day, that service processes over 2 million transactions.