In countries where access to traditional banking services is limited, more and more people are utilizing mobile phones to send money with services such as M-Pesa, which now boasts more than 13 million subscribers. The technology may be a boon to the health field as well, as the same systems can be used by organizations such as the World Food Program, which uses mobile devices for some of its food aid voucher programs.
The application allows a food vender to enter a person’s voucher code into a mobile phone, and the system automatically reimburses the vendor via mobile payment. The convenience encourages retailers to participate in the food program, and cuts paperwork. The same technology could easily be applied to conditional cash transfer programs, which are health promotion initiatives that offer cash incentives to poor families for getting children vaccinated, or sending them to school.
Read more, via PBS NewsHour.