The number of people who don't have bank accounts is on the rise, as many Americans turn to alternative ways of getting cash — like payday loans, pawnshops and check-cashing services. About 8.2% of U.S. households, or nearly 10 million, lack a bank account, according to a report released Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That's up from 7.7%, or about 9 million households, in 2009.
What if anyone owning a cell-phone, whether rich or poor, also had access to financial services with the ability to save and send money safely, no matter where they are located? This is not science fiction; in fact it is already happening in Kenya, which has become the world’s market leader in mobile money. Today, Kenya has more cell-phone subscriptions than adult citizens and more than 80 percent of those with a cell phone also use “mobile money” (or “M-PESA” which is very different from “mobile banking” as Michael Joseph–the former Safaricom CEO, and the man behind that revolution—can explain passionately!).
here are approximately 60 million mobile money users in the world, which means that almost one in three is a Kenyan. Half of all mobile money transactions are taking place in Kenya where annual transfers are now around US$ 10 billon.
Also remember that, from a global perspective, the average person is more likely to have cell phone than a bank account.