The World Bank has approved a US$7.7 million credit to Government of Maldives designed to improve access to financial services by allowing users to access any bank account using their mobile phone.I sometimes wonder if this is worth it. However I am sure people who know better have approved these funding and project has started off.
My personal view is when it comes to mobile banking , I see two parts in it
1. Mobile Network Operator(s)
Those are the ingredients needed. The investment can be made by the two (MNO and the Bank) on agreeable terms and it can be easily implemented. Bringing in a middle party does not serve a practical purpose (looking at present trends).
BML has successfully launched internet banking and present mobile operators have other infrastructures (or invest a bit on it) which easily should be able to implement a mobile banking platform. Its true maybe trying to involve ALL the banks needs a regulator or a clearing house; but question is how practical is it. We don't pay using SBI , BOC and Habeeb Bank Cards, etc to Point of Sales terminals at shops and other EFT points. However we are dreaming of getting that done with mobiles, its good (in a way). Maybe its being fair (on all Banks) but is the US$7.7 million justifiable?. Maybe it is, or I am missing somethings here. However this is my view on it. I still feel it would be more practical if BML and the local mobile operators got along to implement mobile banking / mobile commerce.