The use of mobile technology has become widespread with astonishing speed all over the world, particularly among the poor. The more mobile phones go to the hands of people who formerly lacked access to financial services, the more the notions of mobile money, mobile payment and mobile banking become pervasive as a means of financial inclusion. Although there are more than 120 mobile money projects deployed in about 70 emerging markets (Beshouri et al. 2010), mobile payment has only taken off in a limited number of countries. This failure to disseminate aservice with such a huge potential worldwide, shows that the reasons for the successful cases are not clearly understood, and as a result, are not being easily replicated. This paper seeks to fill this knowledge gap by providing a comprehensive literature review, which attempts to analyse significant experiences in this field, especially in developing countries. An investigation has been carried out of both academic, peer-reviewed articles and the available non-peer-reviewed practitioner-oriented publications, (a total of 196 papers–94 peer-reviewed and 92 non-peer-reviewed–published in the period 2001-2011) to obtain information related to the actors and institutions involved in mobile money initiatives. In other words, the study addresses the following questions: what is the driving-force behind these initiatives, what are the obstacles and the social and economic implications of their implementation. Thus, the aim of this review is to map out the existing knowledge on mobile money by pointing out the main sources of information on the subject, and defining the topics that are most frequently researched. In addition, it examines which locations most studies focus on, and which methodologies are being applied to these studies, as well as the determining factors and contexts of the published studies.