August 2009

Beep Banking

The three countries in Indochina (ie Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) have a population of about 96 million. Only about 20% have bank accounts and therefore access to banking services. However it is estimated that that there are 96 million phone accounts. If the sums are correct, then there lies a great opportunity to transact financial services using the phone.

There will come a day when a mobile or traveling banker will trudge into the rural heartland where many farmers live, instead of just sitting in his office. When the banker meets the farmer the conversation may go like this: