I would like to welcome you to the Mobile Money for Development blog. I started this blog to help the development community, donor organizations, governments, regulators, mobile network operators, bankers, 3rd party mobile money operators and others to share experiences and observations about the ways in which mobile money can be used and expanded around the world.
I’m John Owens, a lawyer, development specialist focused on financial inclusion and access to finance, and an active mobile money strategist. I started working on use cases for mobile money while I managed and directed the USAID-supported Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) program for Chemonics International.
In late 2004, our team developed a service that would allow clients of rural banks to pay their loans back via mobile money in a product we called Text-A-Payment which rode on the GCASH Mobile Money platform developed by Globe Telecom and its subsidiary G-Xchange Inc.
After several months of experimenting how to use mobile money to support greater financial inclusion, I quickly realized the power and potential of mobile money and this small pilot expanded in ways that we never dreamed possible. See the video Distant Access to learn more about this exciting initiative.
Over the past 8 years, I have been fortunate to interact, meet and visit with those involved in developing and supporting mobile money services from around the world. After these experiences and my almost 25 years working on financial inclusion in the developing world, I have learned quite a bit about what will help to make mobile money services successful.
Recently, I have been tasked by Chemonics International to look at ways to better incorporate mobile money and mobile payments into development projects from around the world. Based on my learnings, my unique position to interact with multiple players and being an active mobile money user myself, I was encouraged by friends and colleagues to set up this blog.
Please note that the postings on this site are my own and those of the other authors and the views expressed here do not necessarily represent Chemonics International, the Better Than Cash Alliance, or USAID.