GSMA Announces Seven New Grant Recipients From the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

By Gsma, PRNE
Monday, May 24, 2010

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 25, 2010 - The GSMA announced the details of a further seven grantees from the
Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Fund, which is administered by the GSMA
Foundation, Inc. with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. New
grantees are Cellcard in Cambodia, Digicel in Fiji, Orange in West Africa,
Safaricom in Kenya, Tata Indicom in India, Telenor in Pakistan and Tigo in

"Just 15 months after we first announced the launch of the
Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme we are proud to announce that all
funds have been committed in support of mobile money deployments across the
globe," said Gavin Krugel, Director GSMA. "Projects were chosen on their
ability to deliver, speed of delivery, scale and sophistication. Between now
and the end of 2011 millions of consumers are expected to directly benefit
from mobile money services launched with the support of the Fund - that is
170 million customers at the base of the economic pyramid and who previously
lacked access to financial services, from 19 operators in Latin America,
Africa and Asia."

New Grantees:

Cambodia has a population of over 14.5 million, 22 per cent of whom live
in urban areas, but less than 4 percent of the population has a bank account.
In addition to this, the majority of payroll is given in cash and therefore
Cellcard will be providing much needed financial services such as money
transfer, bill payment and airtime top-up to working-class migrants who need
to send money home to families in rural areas.

The objective of the grant to Digicel Fiji is to support the launch of a
low-cost mobile wallet product which will allow Fijians better and easier
access to commercial transactions and which can be delivered through
Digicel's existing distributor network. The pilot will launch remittance,
top-up and bill payment services with the aim of extending to a full
financial services offering following commercial launch.

Less than four per cent of the population of Western Africa (Cote
, Senegal and Mali) are banked, but over a third owns a mobile phone,
and this number is growing 30 per cent each year. Orange is studying customer
needs in each market, with the intention of building on existing mobile money
services (Orange Money is already available in Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali
and Madagascar) by introducing more advanced financial services.

Safaricom is using M-PESA, one of the world's most successful mobile
money platforms, to facilitate social transfer payments from Non-Governmental
Organisations NGOs and the Kenyan government to vulnerable households in
informal settlements in Nairobi.

Tata Teleservices is working with its technology partner mChek to target
microfinance customers in rural India and particularly the large numbers of
dairy, contract and agricultural workers. There are over 550 million mobile
connections in India with year-on-year growth of 49 per cent, and research
has shown that there are 91 million households who are currently financially
excluded. mChek's research has shown a clear need for cash management and
money transfer services among customers who are not currently served by
traditional banking services.

Easypaisa is an existing mobile money service successfully offered by
Telenor Pakistan which brings financial services to the unbanked of Pakistan.
With help from the MMU Fund grant, Telenor Pakistan is working to develop a
sophisticated savings/insurance product which can be offered on top of the
Easypaisa platform.

Finally Tigo is experimenting with innovative distribution channels for a
new mobile money platform in one of its African markets.

Update of Grantee Progress:

Through grants from the MMU Fund 11 projects have already begun offering
innovative services and are developing the next generation of services to be
offered on mobile money platforms, including social transfer payments,
microinsurance and microfinance. In the course of the last year many of the
grantees are already making a difference to their customers including:

    - Bangladesh's Grameenphone is working to enhance its mobile money
      service offerings (which were originally limited to bill payment)
      with, for example, a mobile ticketing service for Bangladesh Railways

    - Dialog is expanding its mobile money offering into the northern
      provinces of Sri Lanka, which were, until last year's settlement,
      wracked by war

    - MTN Uganda has appointed hundreds of field registration agents to
      educate users about mobile money and to sign them up on the spot, a
      strategy that has to date generated 750,000 registrations

    - Roshan's M-Paisa has developed and delivered training for agents on how
      to sign up and serve M-Paisa customers; it has also run a large-scale
      marketing campaign to educate customers about the M-Paisa service

    - In its Island Activation Project, SMART is extending the reach of SMART
      Money to remote islands that have limited access to financial services
      and are not priority areas for traditional financial institutions by
      partnering with MFIs and cooperatives

    - Vodacom Tanzania is piloting an innovative approach to the common
      problem of agent liquidity: extending credit to master agents.

The MMU works with mobile operators, banks, microfinance
institutions, government and development organizations to encourage the
expansion of reliable and affordable mobile financial services to the
unbanked. The MMU Fund exists to accelerate mobile money deployments which
target base of the pyramid customers who are unbanked. Although the full
original value of the MMU Fund has been allocated, the MMU is still accepting
applications from operators around the world for initiatives which are
exceptional in terms of scale or sophistication.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications
industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's
mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers,
Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is
focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its
membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile
communications industry.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the new online
portal for the mobile communications industry, at or the GSMA corporate website at or

Press contacts: Daniel Lowther: +44-7747-636-687, press at

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