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Christina Cacioppo : Notes on M-PESA

Stashed in: Mobile!, Money!, Africa, Walmart

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Christina is awesome; love this insight and color on mobile banking in Kenya.

"I spent a few weeks in Kenya in September. In many ways, Kenya is immensely tech savvy, including in its payments systems. M-PESA is a mobile money system that Vodafone launched in Kenya in 2007. It’s not something often written about in the US, but it’s very relevant to payments systems broadly. Here’s a few thoughts/facts/observations:"

More than half of all mobile payments in the world happen over M-PESA?!

M-PESA is the world’s most widely-adopted mobile payments system.

More than 50% of the mobile payments in the world happen over M-PESA. M-PESA operates in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Afghanistan, and India, though almost all transactions still take place in Kenya, the first launch market. M-PESA was developed by Safaricom and Vodafone (Safaricom’s parent company). The IP is still held by Vodafone.

M-PESA’s premise is simple: users conduct instant peer-to-peer money transfers, using phone numbers as identifiers. Cash enters and leaves the system through M-PESA agents or traditional ATMs.

Bonus points for the recommendation of this Kindle Single on M-PESA.

Innovation in Kenya, leading the way for the future of the world.

BTW 1/4 of all Americans are unbanked/underbanked. Seems m-pesa would be useful.

It would be, is the challenge to that mostly regulatory or mostly cultural?

Regulatory, from what I've been learning.

It also seems like Walmart would be a prime candidate to implement such a scheme:

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