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Trust and fidelity : from ‘under the mattress’ to the mobile phone

Williams, H.P. and Torma, Mailia (2007) Trust and fidelity : from ‘under the mattress’ to the mobile phone. In: The Transformational Potential of M-Transactions. Vodafone Policy Papers Series, 6 . Vodafone Group Plc, pp. 10-19. ISBN 9780955257827

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Banks impoverish: “they eat your money” is a common expression in South Africa, highlighting the perception that many have of the inadequacy of the traditional banking services available to low income households. It is a view which is not unique to South Africa. This inadequacy and the relatively high costs of the services disenfranchises the poor. Across the developing world most individuals do not have bank accounts. In South Africa for example there are 16 m people without bank accounts (out of an adult population of 47.7m).2 The inadequacy of traditional banking services coupled with their limited geographical footprint means that low income households rely overwhelmingly on informal means to save their money; often in cash in their homes, or colloquially, “under the mattress”.