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Disruptive technologies: M-Pesa vs. the banks

Ryan Hahn's picture

Mobile payment systems are turning out to be a truly disruptive technology in Kenya. The great success of M-Pesa, the now prototypical example of mobile payments, has the banks frightened, at least according to an article in the Nairobi Star. But Kenyan blogger Bankele calls for a truce: "Banks need to change and embrace M-Pesa as it is able to do some things they can't or won't do." According to Bankele, the alternative is not pretty:

...take away m-pesa and people will go back to stuffing cash in tins, rolling them in blankets and mailing them in cartons on buses. They will not go back to open new bank accounts or queue at western union.

(Hat tip: Elia Varela Serra at Global Voices Online)


Submitted by Judy Payne on
m-Pesa is impressive -- so many people have embraced it. It clearly meets a huge demand for cheaper options for transferring cash. What would be even better is if these millions could also easily set up and use savings accounts related to m-Pesa. This requires banks -- and/or MFI's to step in and work with m-Pesa to make this possible.

Submitted by Ngetha on
@Judy I think Safaricom should steer clear, at least for now, from saving accounts and micro finance, it works so well as it is, any more addition at this point would cloud the photo. What they are doing is making it possible for their customers to withdraw MPesa cash from ATMs owned by Banks and ATM Switch providers.

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