The iPhone, Mobile Banking, and Reducing Poverty

The businessperson’s perspective on mobile banking is easy to follow: get the three billion people who have smartphones but not bank accounts onto an electronic financial network; deploy new services; enjoy scale benefits; and so on.

But this week, Bloomberg columnist William Pesek brought a more populist, humanistic viewpoint to the mobile banking conversation: beyond just a business opportunity, these innovations can lift the world’s workers out of poverty.

“Any of us (full disclosure: this includes me) who use one of Apple’s smartphones, iPads or iPods is, at least indirectly, supporting the exploitation of electronics factory workers in China,” Pesek writes — perhaps taking some liberties with specific word choices. His counterpoint is more hopeful: “Yet what if the iPhone is a key to ending the poverty that forces so many Asians to toil in such abhorrent conditions?”

Combined with the latest mobile banking technology, the continued manufacture of smartphones could be a key first step in helping to address global poverty, Pesek says.

Read the full story here.

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