The rise of a new dawn in Kenya’s payments system
Eleven years after mobile money started in Kenya, a new dawn is rising – that of open and interoperable systems. Just as you can call people on any network in Kenya seamlessly, you can now send money across mobile money networks seamlessly.
Pauline Kimari is a pharmacist in Ndaragwa, Kenya, a small town several hours’ drive north of Nairobi. She moved there from rural Muranga, several hours away, to open a small shop, Ndaragwa Joy Chemist. It is white with blue and green doors and a blue bench inside. She sells medicine and cosmetics.
In an effort to understand the real needs of the people, our seventh ‘Field Friday’ exercise took us to Karagita in Naivasha. We set out to gather insights on which financial services people use and which ones they trust most.
In order to understand the take‐up, use, and impacts of M‐PESA in Kenya, US based Principal Investigators William Jack (Georgetown) and Tavneet Suri (MIT Sloan School of Management) conducted a set of five surveys across Kenya, starting in yearly between 2008 and 2011, with a fifth survey conducted in 2014 to look at the longer-term impacts of M-PESA.
Rafe Mazer was the speaker at the 2nd FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion. His presentation shared how we can develop our own “test and learn” – the way in which financial service providers and regulators collaborate to allow for new solutions – for consumer protection.
While Safaricom’s M-PESA platform stole the spotlight for being one of the world’s most transformative financial services, a somewhat hushed storm is infusing in the world of API’s in Kenya since Safaricom’s September-2015 announcement that they have opened up their APIs to the public.