Kenya has already found a way for anyone who owns a cell phone to have access to secure financial services, regardless of their location.
M-PESA, also known as “mobile money,” is a mobile payment system that has over 40 million users worldwide. Close to 1 in 3 of those users are in Kenya.
There are more cell phone subscriptions than adult citizens in Kenya, 80 percent of which use mobile money.
The success of mobile money gives Kenya a global profile, one so large that other world leaders have questioned why this innovation is not available in other countries.
The World Bank warns against a monopoly of this monetary system. Safaricorn, a mobile money operator, already had over 50 percent market share as of 2007. This strong nationwide presence allowed mobile money to take off, a start that will not be as easy in other countries who are more wary of monopolies.
The M-pesa system is demand-led and as a result, is more popular and moves faster than traditional cash. It will soon go global, especially since Kenya is fast- becoming a dominant force in internet connectivity in the developing world.