With nearly 80 percent of the world’s population having access to mobile phone service, the functions these powerful handheld devices serve are constantly evolving and can sometimes escape industry or regulatory attention, says Bill Maurer, anthropology professor and Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion director.  On July 25, 2011, he will be the featured speaker at USAID’s Mobile Financial Services Seminar in Washington, D.C., an event that will bring together non-profits, government regulatory agencies and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the developing mobile money industry.  Focusing on his National Science Foundation-funded research and the work of his institute, Maurer will discuss the unexpected things people do with cash, coin and cell-phones, ranging from ceremonial offerings to SIM-card swapping, various forms of cash pooling and airtime arbitrage.  His talk will also highlight some potential problems these uses pose for regulation and consumer protection, as well as existing and proposed solutions.

Tune in online via webinar to listen to Maurer’s talk live at 6:00 a.m. PST Monday, July 25 (requires advance registration).

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