Mobile Banking

  • Dial M for money: Can mobile banking lift people out of poverty?, By Nurith Aizenman, December 9, 2016, National Public Radio: “If you live in Kenya there’s a jingle you hear on television and radio a lot.   ‘Things are now modern!’ they sing. ‘Things are now developed.’ It’s an ad for a type of banking service called M-PESA that’s run entirely through your mobile phone. You set up an account with the phone company. You can send and receive funds by text. Or, if you need to make a cash deposit or withdrawal, you do it through a vast network of agents — small-time vendors in kiosks and shops, for example, that the company has set up…”
  • Here’s why mobile money is dramatically reducing poverty in Kenya, By Robert Gebelhoff, December 22, 2016, Washington Post: “For Tavneet Suri, an economics professor at MIT who grew up in Kenya, much has changed in her home country over the past decade. What used to be an economy relatively closed off to the rest of the world is now a one where the vast majority of people are paying bills and sharing money with one another through cellphones…”

Mobile Banking – Kenya

Mobile banking closes poverty gap, By Jane Wakefield, May 28, 2010, BBC News: “Mobile banking has transformed the way people in the developing world transfer money and now it is poised to offer more sophisticated banking services which could make a real difference to people’s lives. Currently 2.7bn people living in the developing world do not have access to any sort of financial service. At the same time 1bn people throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia own a mobile phone. As a result, mobile money services are springing up all over the developing world. According to mobile industry group the GSMA there are now 65 mobile money systems operating around the globe, with a further 82 about to be launched. Most offer basic services such as money transfers, which are incredibly important for migrant workers who need to send cash back to their families. M-Pesa in Kenya is perhaps the most famous of these and it has attracted 9.4 million Kenyans in just under three years. Now it is ready to move to the next stage. M-Pesa, has recently partnered with Kenya’s Equity Bank to offer subscribers a savings account, called M-Kesho…”

Millennium Villages – Africa

Shower of aid brings flood of progress, By Jeffrey Gettleman, March 8, 2010, New York Times: “In the past five years, life in this bushy little patch of western Kenya has improved dramatically. Agricultural yields have doubled; child mortality has dropped by 30 percent; school attendance has shot up and so have test scores, putting one local school second in the area, when it used to be ranked 17th; and cellphone ownership (a telltale sign of prosperity in rural Africa) has increased fourfold. There is a palpable can-do spirit that infuses the muddy lanes and family compounds walled off by the fruity-smelling lantana bushes. People who have grown bananas for generations are learning to breed catfish, and women who used to be terrified of bees are now lulling them to sleep with smoke and harvesting the honey. ‘I used to think, African killer bees, no way,’ said Judith Onyango, one of the new honey makers. But now, she added, with visible pride, ‘I’m an apiarist.’ Sauri was the first of what are now more than 80 Millennium Villages across Africa, a showcase project that was the dream child of Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Harvard-trained, Columbia University economist who runs with an A-list crowd: Bono, both Bills (Clinton and Gates), George Soros, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon and others…”