The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Citi have formed a global partnership on “mobile money” technology in developing countries. The announcement was made at USAID’s Frontiers in Development Forum at Georgetown University.
The partnership will expand current USAID efforts in mobile solutions and focus on implementing a set of principles in nine countries, with an initial emphasis on Colombia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya and the Philippines.
USAID and Citi will work with governments, donors, industry and other participants in the payments system. USAID expects to continue to support local mobile money platforms with over $23 million, and Citi will integrate its core banking services with mobile money platforms to provide integration between banking and last-mile, mobile-based payments services.
Raj Shah (Administrator, USAID): The ability to store and transfer money, as well as to make small payments using mobile phones, has the potential to lift millions out of poverty, just as the Green Revolution did in the 1960s.
Of the five billion mobile phone users worldwide, nearly two billion lack access to banking services, instead relying on cash transactions.
Through Citi Transaction Services and Citi Enterprise Payments, Citi is using its payment “pipes” to connect institutional clients to mobile channels worldwide. Through its partnerships with América Móvil and Google, Citi offers consumer-focused digital solutions like Transfer and Google Wallet, which provide customers with mobile wallets and smart phone tap and pay technology.
[Image Courtesy: Citi]