In October, cell phone companies and banks in Mexico will team up to implement a new system that allows citizens to use their cellphones as they would a credit card, a scheme that "tries to elevate the acceptance of the electronic payment through the use of cellular telephony," according to one of the program coordinators. The idea is to enable micro-payments of less than $25 without surcharges to business establishments to customers, thus linking Mexicans who lack bank accounts into the credit and banking system.
Cell-phone-payment systems are common in Asia, but I like the way this provides access to services to people who might not normally have bank accounts. But this sentence is confusing: "The idea is to enable micro-payments of less than $25 without surcharges to business establishments to customers" -- should that be *or* to customers? I can't find the original announcement, and my concern is that people will start "banking" their cash with cell-phone companies without receiving the benefits of regular banking (such as interest).