SXSWi 2009, which takes place in Austin, TX on March 13-17 2009 will feature a panel on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing and the Future of Money. The panel is organized by Kyle Outlaw of Razorfish. Kyle kindly invited me to share my thoughts on this favorite subject of mine, so I look forward to seeing you there.
Nearly half the world’s population now has a mobile device and more than a thousand cell phones are being activated every minute. The ubiquity of mobile devices will make new services available to billions of people worldwide who have not had access to traditional banks or credit cards. In developing countries such as Kenya – where nearly 80% of the population is excluded from the formal financial sector – text messaging is being used to transfer money to friends and family living in other countries. Moreover, new forms of currency are being created – trading cell phone minutes for goods and services, for example. This panel will explore the challenges and opportunities as banks go mobile, and how the revolution in mobile financial services will change the way we think about money.