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Question 12

Tariffs, Economic and Policy Issues Pertaining to Mobile Financial Services (MFS)

(Draft ​New Question)

In the past years, the number of active Mobile Financial Services (MFS) customers has increased significantly. Mobile network operators have taken the lead in the provision of these services which are becoming increasingly diversified. MFS have been instrumental in stimulating economic development as well as fostering digital, social, and financial inclusion particularly in areas with low penetration of financial services.

Poorer unbanked populations need to have access to affordable, secure, and reliable mobile financial services. In many countries, the bulk of mobile financial transactions are micropayments and low-value transactions, making it difficult to establish appropriate retail charging options, commensurate with the income level of users.

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) of 2016 acknowledged the importance and impact of MFS and approved Resolution 89 on" Promoting the use of information and communication technologies to bridge the financial inclusion gap." Resolution 89 resolves to continue and further develop the ITU-T work programme, including the ongoing work in SG3 order to contribute to the wider global efforts to enhance financial inclusion. It further resolves to conduct studies and develop standards and guidelines in the areas of interoperability, digitization of payments, consumer protection, quality of service, big data and security of digital financial services transactions.

Tariffs, Economic and Policy Issues Pertaining to Mobile Financial Services (MFS).


The study should cover tariff, economic, policy, and regulatory developments related to Mobile Financial services. In studying this Question, special explicit consideration should be given to the innovation and the leadership of developing countries not only in implementing but also pioneering the development of MFS for financial inclusion.
In this context, the issues to be studied shall inter alia include:
1) Affordability of telecommunication services related to the provision of MFS
2) Consumer Protection in Mobile Financial Services
3) Competition in Mobile Financial Services
4) Cooperation and collaboration between the relevant stakeholders in the mobile and banking sectors e.g. interoperability across the stakeholders
5) Effectiveness of the delivery chain of MFS
6) Charging, accounting, and economic issues arising out of use of MFS
Other topics may be studied as appropriate, based on contributions.


Study Groups:
- ITU-T SG12​