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Mobile phone banking offers exciting possibilities of extending banking to millions of unbanked people in the developing world. But exactly how is mobile banking, or m-banking, changing access to basic banking?

This booklet attempts to answer this question using data from South Africa on financial service use and attitudes taken from the FinScope™ South Africa 2004 and 2006 surveys, which explore the use and demand for financial services. It uses the access frontier approach, which was developed in my 2005 study The Access Frontier as an Approach and a Tool for Making Markets Work for the Poor.