Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Safaricom, M-Pesa is just cool.

This is just cool. Bart de Rijk, a colleague at Logica Management Consulting went to Kenya to help a micro-credit organisation that is supported through Logica's Bloom corporate responsiblity initiative. There he learned about Safaricoms M-Pesa, mobile payment platform. M-pesa allows anyone with a mobile phone to recieve money from a Safaricom customer. In a country where most people don't have a bank account this has become the default bank payment system. It started 15 months ago and currently carries €200 million per month. That's 5% of its GDP. There is a cost involved, at 25-35 eurocents per transaction it is not cheap, but it is still appreciated (by the people, not by competing banks)

My colleague learned about how much it was appreciated when he asked a group of women who formed a micro-credit group if they would prefer to pay their loan via mobile payments. The resounding answer was: YES PLEASE. It saves them from making long walks to meetings, risks of robbers and lions etc. To read about his experiences: Google Translate or the Bloom blog (in Dutch)

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