Mexico's central bank has established rules on paying for goods and services and making other financial transactions through bank accounts associated with mobile telephones.
The bank said in a statement on Monday that it had set out regulations for telephone operators and banks to open mobile accounts for their clients.
Mexico's financial industry, dominated by Citigroup's Banamex and Spain's BBVA Bancomer, has grown explosively over the past decade, but bank branches remain scarce in many rural areas.
The rules establish measures to promote competition and inhibit possible discriminatory practices in money transfers within one bank or between different banks, the central bank said.
Using phones to buy items like train tickets or products in vending machines is commonplace in Japan but has yet to catch on in the United States.
Almost a year ago, Mexico's banks said clients would soon be able to link their savings accounts to their phones so they could make payments to participating stores, restaurants and taxis by sending a text message.
But that program lacked the participation of leading Mexican cell phone operator America Movil and has made little headway.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by John Wallace)