This short paper addresses the strategic challenges of deposit banks, and payment clearinghouses, posed by the growing role of mobile operators as collectors and payment agents of flow of cash for themselves and third parties. Through analysis and data analysis from selected operators , it is shown that mobile operators achieve as money flow handlers levels of efficiency , profitability ,and risk control comparable with deposit banks – Furthermore , the payment infrastructures deployed by both are found to be quite similar , and are analyzed in relation to strategic challenges and opportunities This paves the way to either mobile operators taking a bigger role ,or for banks to tie up such operators to them even more tightly ,or for alliances/mergers to take place ,all these options being subject to regulatory evolution as analyzed as well . The reader should acknowledge that there is no emphasis on specific Mobile banking (M-Banking) technologies (security, terminals, application software) , nor on related market forces from the user demand point of view.

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ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Pau, L.-F. (2004). Mobile operators as banks or vice-versa? and: the challenges of Mobile channels for banks (No. ERS-2004-015-LIS). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from