It has always fascinated me how current technology in many cases allow developing nations to leapfrog costly stages of the development that the industrialized countries went through.
The Inquirer has an article about how text messaging is being tested for banking in Kenya via a pilot headed up by Vodafone. Whats particularly interesting is that the pilot bypasses banks, by using credit on top up cards for the phones for the payments.
This follows a trend where developing countries including Nigeria and Marocco are now getting 3G in many cases just a few short years after getting cellphone service at all, and where cellphones already outnumber landlines in many countries because installing base stations is actually significantly cheaper than laying cable to each subscriber, especially in countries where salaries are low enough to make stealing the copper wire used for phone lines attractive (search for 'copper telephone').
(Inquirer article found via: textually.org: Text banking trialled in Kenya)