In this short interview Johannes Kling of DD-DEDO describes the state of branchless banking in Colombia. Mobile banking has great potential for reducing the cost of financial services for low income consumers, says Kling. But with mobile and agent banking in operation for just a few years, the business is at an early stage of development in Colombia and it remains far behind other countries, especially African countries. According to Kling, for mobile and agent banking to take off the Colombian government will likely play a big part in using the networks for government payments. A number of other key ingredients will also be needed to make mobile and agent banking a success in Colombia: a large network of convenient local stores providing the services, lower fees from the telecom companies, and banks promoting the service.
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has access to the financial services they need to improve their lives. CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Our "Microfinance Now" series features interviews with leading figures in the world of microfinance.