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IFC Brings Mobile Financial Services to Remote Areas of Latin America, the Caribbean


In Lima, Peru:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: +511 611 2501
E-mail: cugarteperrin@ifc.org

Mexico City, Mexico, March 26, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with three partners to address one of the biggest challenges in getting mobile financial services to underserved populations in remote areas of Latin America and the Caribbean: the agent network.

IFC’s Mobile Financial Services Program is providing financial institutions and service providers with customized solutions for their agent networks, maximizing results to benefit both service providers and underserved end users.

IFC’s partners in the initiative are the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Netherlands-IFC Partnership Program, and the Government of Luxembourg.

Unbanked populations can obtain access to essential financial services if mobile solutions are available. Such solutions entail using mobile phones to connect individuals to the financial system, but they also require the existence of an agent network to serve as cash-in and cash-out points.

Since its launch in December 2010, the Mobile Financial Services Program has assessed the potential for mobile financial services in five different countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region; launched market-demand studies to provide information on the demand and characteristics of end users for these services; and advised five different market players on business-plan creation, product design, and agent-network development.

Ghada Teima, IFC Access to Finance Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “This program is aligned with our strategy in the region to develop innovative, commercially viable business models that achieve significant scale and reach the underserved sectors of the population.”

To support these efforts, IFC is hosting a one-day workshop for mobile financial services providers. The workshop will feature expert speakers from Latin America and other regions, giving participants the opportunity to learn about current mobile money deployments, challenges faced, and lessons learned. The workshop will showcase the different agent models being used around the world and highlight the key steps to a successful agent network roll-out.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. IFC creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and through the delivery of advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, IFC’s new investments climbed to a record $19 billion in fiscal 2011. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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