On February 16, 2012, Barclays of U.K. launched Pingit, a service that lets people send and receive money using a smartphone.
But this isn’t the first big innovation in mobile banking. These innovations are already happening in developing countries.
Poor countries are jumping ahead of rich ones by building a 21st century infrastructure (because they have little legacy infrastructure to begin with). For example, India has leapfrogged from no land-line telephones to the latest in wireless telephony. That revolution, in turn, is causing India to leapfrog brick-and-mortar banking to wireless banking for the masses. We see similar patterns in other poor countries as well. Mobile money transfer in Africa, M-Pesa, is a case in point. Counterintuitive as it may seem, poor countries may be ahead of rich countries in mobile banking.