Kenya’s M-PESA Overhauls African Mobile Money Transfers

As the developed world rebuilds the global financial system, the financial architecture in parts of the developing world is also being rapidly transformed. As the cost of mobile phone technology has fallen, and as the technology has been adapted to support financial services, mobile banking innovations have begun to spread across, and within, less wealthy countries. The low infrastructure cost and the widespread unmet demand for financial services in areas where numbers of people with access to banks is small, means that mobile banking has the potential to reach remote corners of the socio‐economic, as well as geographic, spectrum.

Think of the developing world and the first thing that springs to mind probably isn’t cutting-edge technology. Mobile phone technology has reduced communication costs in many parts of the developing world from prohibitive levels to amounts that are comparatively trivial. Nowhere has this transformation been as acute as in sub-Saharan Africa, where networks of both fixed-line communication and physical transportation infrastructure are often inadequate, unreliable and dilapidated. And, while mobile phone calling rates remain high by world standards, the technology has allowed millions of Africans to leapfrog the landline en route to 21st-century connectivity. Read more

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