Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

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Rights Information

© 2012 Zachery P. Ingrasci


Even with such a diverse set of actors, this paper will argue that it is irrational not to have a functioning mobile banking ecosystem that can provide a full range of financial services to the poor. As seen by current public and private actors that lead the charge in creating mobile banking ecosystems, all actors can substantially benefit. With three billion unbanked poor, both traditional banks and microfinance banks will have significant opportunities to massively increase clientele in previously un-bankable and remote areas in a profitable way. Telecoms will be able to provide a wider array of services to attract and retain customers as traditional markets become more saturated and competitive as well as receive positive PR for providing services to the poor. On the public side, governments should see this as an opportunity to provide financial access to their citizens without having to provide the services themselves. Finally, previously unbanked clients stand to gain the most as they will receive access to convenient, reliable and flexible services that fit their needs in ways that were impossible before mobile banking technology.

This paper, however, will not prescribe a single model for mobile banking. Differences in political systems, economy, geography, demographics, state of development, nature of financial systems, profile of clients, and regulatory environment make it impossible to create a "one size fits all" solution. The correct model for a functioning mobile banking ecosystem depends on the specific market environment of each individual country. Lessons can be learned from top emerging players in developing countries for a better overall understanding of the interests of the actors and how to create a framework that allows for these interests to co-exist. This understanding is critical if mobile banking is to eventually have an important global impact on financial inclusion for the poor.


  • Best Senior Thesis in International Relations

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.