A global partnership that seeks to broaden the use of mobile banking in developing countries has been forged at the Frontiers in Development Forum in Washington, D.C.

Under the partnership, Citigroup Inc. is planning to encourage its existing clients to transact via mobile phones and integrate its banking services with mobile money operators, National Journal reports. This is one way the global bank intends to scale up mobile banking, targeting to eventually extend the service to other financial services, and from consumer-to-merchant to direct person-to-person payments.

The partnership will help expand the U.S. Agency for International Development’s work in promoting mobile money solutions. Its initial focus will be on Colombia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya and the Philippines. The two will also work with governments and other actors in the payments systems to help scale up mobile banking.

Such an initiative will help provide financial service access to some 2 billion people worldwide. In Kenya, more than 70 percent of households are now connected to financial systems via mobile phones, according to a USAID press release.

The Frontiers in Development Forum runs June 11-13.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.