I fogot my wallet, but wait I have my CELL PHONE!!

September 30, 2007 9:43am CST
If you need money, now it is as simple as sending a text message. In a matter of seconds, a transaction is approved and the teller can give you money! You don't even need a bank account! More than 5.5 million Filipinos now use their cell phones as virtual wallets, making the Philippines a leader among developing nations in providing financial transactions over mobile networks. Mobile banking services, which are also catching on in Kenya and South Africa, enable people who don't have bank accounts to transfer money easily, quickly and safely. It's spreading in the developing world because mobile phones are much more common than bank accounts. Cell phone money transfers are much easier. Not only are they cheaper that a wire transfer, they also provide instant access to cash. Consumers also can store limited amounts of money on their cell phones to buy things at stores that participate in the network -- although this practice isn't yet widespread in the Philippines. While Japanese and South Korean consumers have been using cell phones as virtual wallets for several years, those systems use a computer chip implanted in handset that allows people to buy things by waving the phone in front of a sensor. The Philippine system relies on simple text messages, which cost just 2 cents to send. The 41 million cell phone users in the Philippines have embraced text messaging. The electronic connections have fostered a culture of quick greetings and forwarded jokes. Text messages also played a key role in mobilizing crowds that fueled the 2001 "people power" revolt that ousted President Joseph Estrada. The Philippines' two biggest mobile service providers, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, have harnessed this penchant for text messaging to enable consumers to enter the world of e-commerce. Tapping into the cash flow from overseas Filipinos -- who sent home $12.7 billion last year -- Globe and Smart forged partnerships with foreign mobile providers and banks, as well as with local banks and merchants, to create a network that allows users to send and receive cash internationally. If a cell phone loaded with cash values is lost or stolen, the money can't be tapped as long as the personal identification number isn't revealed. Control over the funds can be restored with a replacement SIM, or Subscriber Identity Module, card. Source: MSN.com
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