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New Technologies in remittances sending: Opportunities for mobile remittances in Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Siegel, Melissa

    () (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht)

  • Fransen, Sonja

    () (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht)

Abstract

Mobile remittances have a high development potential as they hold the promise of providing quick, easy and cheap money transfers. In Africa mobile phone usage has increased sharply and mobile banking providers are extending their services, enabling greater opportunities for mobile remittances. The rise of mobile banking in Africa, however, differs substantially across countries, mainly due to a lack of financial infrastructure. Consequently, the opportunities that mobile banking offers for mobile remittances vary geographically. The services provided do not always meet the needs of remittance senders and the African remittances market is generally under-acknowledged as an important market by providers. Restrictive financial regulations play a key role as well. Mobile remittances have the potential to become an important and revolutionary tool for remittances sending in Africa. Effective policies should therefore address the limitations in the regulatory and financial infrastructure for mobile banking to become the foundation for mobile remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • Siegel, Melissa & Fransen, Sonja, 2012. "New Technologies in remittances sending: Opportunities for mobile remittances in Africa," MERIT Working Papers 018, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2012018
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2012/wp2012-018.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Ebeke & Thierry Yogo Urbain, 2013. "Working Paper 185 - Remittances and the Voter Turnout in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Macro and Micro Level Data," Working Paper Series 989, African Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Remittances; mobile remittances; Africa; innovation; technology; development;

    JEL classification:

    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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