When we talk about Mobile Money, we tend to focus on the specific benefits to the users from security to convenience. There is no disputing these tangible benefits, but as the mobile money economy develops there are a host of other follow-on benefits. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released a study in late 2012 on the how mobile money services are helping to cut greenhouse gases.
The report, SMARTer2020 found that the development of Information and Communication Technology can contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5. The report goes on to cite mobile money specifically yield 3.55 tons in metric carbon dioxide emissions in reduction in Africa. In an environment where there are few banks in rural areas and customers can travel hours to access traditional banking services, reducing or eliminating the need to visit the branch represents a significant reduction in emissions.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is just one follow-on benefit of mobile money. What started as a drive to extend the traditional banking system to the unbanked has rapidly produced endless possibilities the benefits of which we are only really coming to understand. I am definitely looking forward to seeing more and more unexpected benefits come to fruition as mobile money continues to grow and become mainstream around the globe.