Feeds

Bill Gates asks telcoms standards boffins to define future of money

Smartphone simoleons, standardised

Website security in corporate America

Two-and-a-half billion adults in the world don't have bank accounts, and the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation thinks it's got the answer: deliver financial services to mobile phones.

And the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agrees: late in June, it established a focus group to look at Digital Financial Services, saying standardisation is the key to making such services affordable.

Secretary-general Hamadoun Touré says “What is lacking is an international standard that will allow interoperability between the services offered by different operators”.

The idea is that the cash economy in which the poor live is “risky, expensive and inefficient”, according to the B&MGF's Rodger Voorhies. Keeping cash under the mattress, so to speak, prevents people “from buffering against risk and investing in their futures.”

Getting things moving at the ITU's usual cracking pace, the focus group has been given the job of developing an “international standardisation roadmap for interoperable digital financial services”. It'll also put together “a regulatory toolkit” for policy-makers, presumably to help them deal with banking sectors likely to stymie interoperability in favour of product differentiation.

As well as technical and regulatory work, the ITU says the focus group will also work on consumer and fraud protection, and what business models might make the “mobile money industry” sustainable.

Gates' involvement could be good news for M Pesa, the Kenyan mobile payments system he's quite enthused about and has even backed with a grant to test new use cases. The Vodafone-derived system has also landed in Europe. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.