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Promoting indigenous financial inclusion: improving ICT access within rural Australia
journal contributionposted on 2018-04-01, 00:00 authored by Michael D'Rosario
This article describes how the majority of Australia's indigenous communities live within isolated regions and are typically characterized by levels of disadvantage not evidenced within mainstream Australian society. While there are a number of reasons for the evidenced disadvantages, access to financial services and social services are acknowledged as key contributors. The article outlines the role of banking sector competition and changing banking structures on the exclusion of indigenous people from banking services. It is claimed herein that access, marketing, price, and self-exclusion all serve to promote financial exclusion. It is posited that forms of access exclusion such as bank branch access and geographic dispersion have served as the key structural impediments to indigenous financial inclusion. Specifically, this article considers the potential role of adaptive cellular technologies and community telecentres in addressing financial exclusion within indigenous communities. Detailing successful ‘social banking' models adopted in several developing countries, it is asserted that m-banking could serve as a powerful tool for inclusion.