Have just caught up on MTN's developments for M-Commerce in South Africa which sees them linking their network with a bank. This move is somewhat similar to what we have seen with Globe Telecom in that it allows users to take money out as well as peer-to-peer payments.
The system also allows the state to pay benefits and merchants to transfer funds. Thus in areas that historically not been served by Banks due to the history of South Africa people now are enfranchised. With over 80 Million mobiles, and a tradition of migrant workers the Country looks like a classic example of now M-Commerce could be deployed.
I think that M-Banking will be somethiong that is pushed from the poorer countries into the developed ones. Where I live we have ATM machines in 13 sites, most of the people have credit cards as well as bank accounts and as such do not see the need for M-Commerce. The only service that most people want is a system that allows for the electronic top up of Pre Pay accounts on a peer to peer basis, and only then when they have school aged children. However in a country that does not have a strong banking system, with limited products for the low income sector a system that replaces the branch networks of retail banking becomes an important tool in empowering others.