Gates: Mobile Banking Will Transform the Lives of 2 Billion Poor People by 2030 (Jan. 26, 2015)
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are betting that mobile banking is one of four transformative events that will improve the lives of the world’s poorest citizens by 2030. The pair last week disclosed their bets in the 2015 Gates Annual Letter, predicting that over the next 15 years, mobile phones and digital banking technology will help 2 billion people in developing countries gain access for the first time to affordable, secure methods of saving and transferring funds.
Many people living in the world’s less developed regions still lack access to traditional banking services, according to Gates. People with no other viable options are forced to stash money in unsafe places, borrow funds at usurious rates and travel long distances to send money to friends and relatives. But between now and 2030, the worldwide expansion of mobile devices, plus the improving regulatory framework in developing countries, will bring affordable digital financial services to the world’s poorest people, Gates believes. In addition to the revolution in mobile banking, Gates bets major advancements in health care, farming and education also will drive major improvements in the lives of the poor.