The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is the largest financial investor in its region of operations which stretches from central Europe to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. With the ability and willingness to bear risk on behalf of its clients, EBRD helps countries in the region to become open, market economies. It is owned by 64 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank. EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies with the mission to invest in projects that foster transition to open market economies.
Mobile Money (including Banking, Money Transfer and Payments) is developing at a remarkable speed in many developing markets around the world delivering basic financial services to the otherwise financially excluded and improving financial access to the financially included. EBRD’s Financial Sector strategy includes developing and supporting financial infrastructure projects that can improve financial access. To better understand the opportunities and challenges for mobile money across its 29 countries of operation, EBRD commissioned a study from BearingPoint. The client wanted to consider investing (equity/loan) in development of mobile money in its region of operation which could spur economic activity and enable macro-economic growth.