Obopay Turns Mobile Phones into Banks

In much of the developing world, bank branches are scare. Obopay aims to fix the problem by making increasingly ubiquitous cell phones into virtual bank offices

Computer scientist Carol Realini was planning to take early retirement after Chordiant Software (CHRD), a customer-relationship management software company she chaired, went public in 2000. Relishing her newfound freedom, Realini went on a social-action mission to Africa. The experience was eye opening, to say the least: In the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), she saw people haul sacks of devalued currency to local vendors to buy scratch cards that would provide a few minutes' calling time on their mobile phones.

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