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Kenyan mobile money sparks inflation fears

Dave Mayers

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 08:59

Millions of Kenyans who were once unable to perform simple financial tasks now use M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service. But while the service was built to address a fundamental problem in the developing world, getting the so-called “un-banked” to use banks, some say the rapid growth of M-Pesa is linked to inflation within the Kenyan economy.

JOHANNESBURG — In just five years an upstart Kenyan company that set out to make banking more accessible has revolutionized the way money flows throughout the region. Millions of Kenyans who were once unable to perform simple financial tasks now use M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service. M-Pesa, and many of its competitors that have sprung up in the past few years, are used as de-facto banks by people who used to deal only in cash.

But while the service was built to address a fundamental problem in the developing world, getting the so-called “un-banked” to use banks, some say the rapid growth of M-Pesa is linked to inflation within the Kenyan economy.

At its core M-Pesa (Swahili for mobile money) was designed to be a “payment service for the un-banked” Betty Mwangi of M-Pesa’s parent company Safaricom, told MarkWatch recently. “M-Pesa allows customers to use their phone like a bank account and debit card,” she said.

Read the full story by clicking the link below
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/global-observer/kenyan-mobile-money-sparks-inflation-fears /5282
 
Tags: Mobile Money Transfer, Mobile Payments, EMEA, Safaricom, Kenya, M-PESA, Inflation

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