7 January 2010

Kenya: Taking money out of banks’ hands – with cellphones

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Since cellphones became widely used in Kenya five years ago, they’ve become the bank card du jour. The Christian Science Monitor reports.

“[In Kenya] with a mobile phone, one can pay electricity and water bills, pay for goods at the supermarket, buy airline or bus tickets, withdraw money from an ATM, monitor stocks, and even check bank account balances. […]

While ordinary Kenyans are quite happy about the hassles the service has spared them, such as long lines, local banks are not amused. […]

Safaricom recently extended M-PESA services to Britain, allowing Kenyans there to send money to relatives back home. Plans are said to be under way to take it to the United States, too.”

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