Bill Gates’ take on frictionless banking with cellphones for all

Bill Gates talks about access to banking for all on Bloomberg Television.
His take: the banking fees from the developed world are just too high for the “rest of the world”.

While pervasive low cost technology like cellphones is the obvious product solution, the business model needs to be different.

It is not as insurmountable as it sounds, because the costs of doing business are also different:

  • marketing can be significantly cheaper: no need to advertise on TV
  • risk is lower: smaller amounts are involved and there is a lot less credit (mostly deposits & payments)
  • regulations can be lighter: see how M-Pesa got local support from the government in Kenya

While this may be too much to ask from large banks from the western world to adapt to, local players can greatly optimize their services and reduce dramatically the number of un-banked in the world.

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Patrice Peyret

I am a repeat entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley since 1995. My first start-up company, Integrity Arts, was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1997 and became a part of JavaSoft, developing the Java platform for SIM cards and cell phones. My second start-up company, Mobileway, became Mobile365 in 2004 and was acquired by Sybase in 2006, handling billions of SMS interconnect and application messages around the world. Plastyc Inc. is my third start-up company.

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