The key word in Panama’s development has been “connectivity.” It’s everywhere: the canal, the logistics hub, highways, and ports. Now Panama is adding financial inclusion to that list.
Published: September 2015
Latin America lags behind much of the developed world when it comes to electronic connectivity and access to financial services. Panama falls well below the expected rate of inclusion, especially considering its level of social development. The country stands out, along with Uruguay and Mexico, as failing to meet expectations, according to the International Monetary Fund, but prospects are changing for Panama.
Bridging the Latin Gap
On May 8, 2014, Panama’s Superintendency of Banks (SBP) announced the launch of a major electronic initiative to provide access to financial services to any Panamanian with a smartphone. MovilCash, a mobile phone application rolled out by Metrobank and Cable & Wireless Panama, is a powerful web-based tool that will allow users to pay bills using credit and bank cards, transfer funds, and purchase goods and services. Users must register with any Cable & Wireless store or through an authorized agent and then download the app.
“Today, technology has become a vital instrument for financial inclusion because of its potential to streamline and reduce the cost of financial transactions.” —Alberto Diamond R.