Mobile Payments for Remittances in Latinamerica: Benchmarking With Africa

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Executive Summary

Even though remittances to the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region are expected to slow down by around 6 percent in 2009 before recovering in 2010, their large recorded value of USD 63 billion in 2008 brings these flows to center stage as a source of growth in times of crisis. There is certainly much to be done if governments aim at having a proactive role in increasing the incentives for remittances. The so-called mobile payments, which make use of mobile technology, have the potential of becoming an essential tool for remittances. Firstly, while bank branches and cash machines account for merely 10 to 20 percent of the population in LAC on average, 80 percent in the region currently have a mobile phone.

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