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A new regulation urges Chinese banks to reduce service inequalities between rural and urban areas. Accenture looks at the use of mobile and Web technologies to achieve this and drive inclusive growth.
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In the last 10 years in China, WAP and 3G mobile banking has become entrenched in the country. Services have expanded from original account management to cover most of clients’ financial needs. While its uptake is slow in urban areas, this form of banking has had success in rural areas.
A number of factors drive the adoption of mobile financial services in the countryside:
This is an opportunity to reduce rural-urban inequality in the distribution of financial services, when well managed.
In order to encourage further growth and evolution of rural mobile banking:
Continued cooperation is necessary between banks and mobile operators.
Financial regulators must cooperate with related departments to work out legal frameworks governing these financial services.
Banks must lower mobile financial services charges and provide quality offerings in areas where there is high mobile coverage and demand for financial services.
Operators must provide greater assurances of security, a smoother user experience and further strengthen network stability. In addition, SMS-based services are preferable in rural areas, where smart phone penetration is lower.
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