IIIS/TCD Seminar: Mobile Phone Banking in Developing Countries

Title: Mobile Banking Initiatives in South Asia: Preliminary Thoughts
Speaker: Veronica Cacdac Warnock, Darden Business School, University of Virginia, Senior Lecturer and Batten Fellow
Date: Monday 24th of October 2011
Time: 1-2pm
Venue: IIIS Seminar Room, 6th Floor of the Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Veronica Cacdac Warnock is Senior Lecturer and Batten Institute Fellow at the Darden Business School of the University of Virginia (UVA).  Her research focuses on housing finance and inclusive banking. She has served as academic consultant for organizations including the National Association of Realtors, the World Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements, and has held visiting positions at the Asian Institute of Management and the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research. She is currently advisor to “Housing Finance in Latin America and the Caribbean”, a research project at Inter-American Development Bank, and to ShoreBank International’s consulting projects supporting new Mobile Banking for the Poor ventures of commercial banks in Pakistan and Bangladesh.  At Darden, she co-teaches Markets in Human Hope, a course in which students form private ventures to directly address global development problems.  She has also taught urban economics and development courses at UVA. Previously, she was Director/Senior Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (of America) and Research Associate at Haver Analytics.  Dr. Warnock received her Ph.D. in Economics from Fordham University and her A.B. in Economics from Ateneo de Manila University.

4 replies on “IIIS/TCD Seminar: Mobile Phone Banking in Developing Countries”

One hopes the IT departments of Irish banks will consider sending some of their staff. If we could attain the level of developing countries in terms of mobile phone banking, that would be a great leap forward…

Saw an interesting App for buying an ISA on your mobile phone in the UK the other day. If you happen to have £10,680 of unused ISA allowance hanging around it must be jolly useful.

IMHO Impersonal banking may well have played an important role in contributing towards the international lending mess we are in now. Consequently I am always nervous whenever I hear about initiatives like “Mobile Phone Banking in Developing countries”.

If a country is “Developing” perhaps it may be a good idea to learn about the basics of banking before skipping several leaps forwards.

“E-banking” is very advanced in Estonia which skipped a few “evolutionary” steps in banking such as never having used chequebooks after banking was reintroduced following the break up of the Soviet Union. However if it wasnt for the fact that Sweden (who had itś own banking crisis a few years back and consequently has comparatively tight controls) bought out most of the banks , some years ago, many people suspect that Estonia would have experienced a crisis which would have made the one in Iceland look very minor in comparison.

I deliberately did not mention Ireland because while Icelands crisis almost “collapsed Iceland” everyone knows now that the “the Irish banking crisis” is actually a Euro Zone crisis which is ironically , despite the best efforts of some pundits, gradually revealing to the world how stable and democratic Ireland actually is compared to most of Europe.

In Developed countries we have to re-learn basic banking (including human input/analyses) which was forgotten over the last 30 years. The last thing the world needs seven or eight years down the line is a Banking crisis in the “developing world” (where billions of people live) and nobody knowing where the money trails are leading and originating.

I feel if we can learn (or relearn) the basics first then we can look at the gadgets/applications. If there are any spare employees in the IT branches of Irish banks perhaps a basic finance/banking course followed by actual “front of house” banking experience may also come in handy.

I hope the seminar goes well and I wish all the best to the organizers who may rest assured that my cautionary comments are in no way designed to diminish the research and hard work which has preceded the seminar:)


In order to avoid any misunderstanding:

I would like to clarify that I think the mobile phone (and the connectivity/freedom it provides in areas where there is very little infrastructure) is actually a great asset within the “Developing” world:)


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