Over 4 billion people, termed as the “bottom of the pyramid” (BOP), live in subsistence marketplaces with an estimated annual income below US$3,000 in local purchasing power (Hammond, et. al. 2007; Viswanathan and Rosa 2007). By the end of 2011, more than 2.5 billion adults were predicted to lack access to any formal financial services accounts to save, borrow or transact. Furthermore, it was predicted that 59% of the adult population in subsistence marketplaces lacked access to any formal financial services accounts to save, borrow or transact (Demirguc-Kunt and Klapper 2012). However, global mobile phone subscriptions accelerated from about 960 million in 2001 to about 6 billion in 2011, reaching 86% of the total global population and 75% of the subsistence marketplaces population (ITU 2012). Although lacking access to any formal financial services, the BOP can have access to mobile phones. Hence offering access to financial services using mobile phone technology called “mobile money services” can potentially transform lives within the BOP living in subsistence marketplaces by providing a convenient access to finance. The mobile phone has been widely used as a channel for providing microfinance services, hence the term defined in this research as “Mobile Money Services”. This phenomenon has since been given a range of terminologies such as mobile banking, mobile payments and mobile finance (Donner and Tellez 2008). By the end of 2012, over 150 mobile money projects are deployed in more than 70 countries (GSMA 2013).
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- A Structured Abstract: Exploring Mobile Money Services as an Innovative Solution for Micro and Small Enterprises in Emerging Economies – Lessons from Rural Cambodia