Mar 7, 2012

Mobile money

Currently, 93 percent of Kenyans are mobile phone users and 73 percent are mobile money customers. Additionally, 23 percent use mobile money at least once a day. New potential for mobile money has come with the rise of interest-earning bank-integrated mobile savings systems, beginning with the launch of the M-KESHO system in March 2010.
That is from the new paper "Kenya's Mobile Revolution and the Promise of Mobile Savings" by Gabriel Demombynes and Aaron Thegeya. 
The paper focuses on mobile systems as saving devises. 
The authors examine the mobile savings phenomenon, using data collected in a special survey in late 2010. They show that the usage of bank-integrated mobile savings systems like M-KESHO remains limited and largely restricted to better-off Kenyans. However, what the authors term “basic mobile savings”—the use of simple mobile money systems as a repository for funds—is widespread, including among those who are otherwise unlikely to have any savings. Holding other characteristics constant, those who are registered for M-PESA are 32 percent more likely to report having some savings.
The authors argue that bank-integrated mobile-savings-systems remain limited because they require complex arrangements between banks and phone-service providers.  

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