Using cell phone minutes to save cash in Kenya

A Bloombergbusinessweek article (Sept 12-18, 2011) describes M-PESA – a service offered by Safaricom – Kenya’s largest cell phone company. The system allows a phone owner to save money in the form of cell phone minutes which can be transferred to another person by texting the minutes which can then be redeemed for cash.  Consultants estimate that 20 % of Safaricom’s Kenyan customers save using phone minutes.  The phone company does not want to focus on the savings for fear it will be treated as a bank with associated regulation. Is the cell phone based microsavings system and associated minute transfer ability permit replacement of cash as a means for trade ? Should phone companies enable ecommerce to offer retail efficiencies and price competition ? Does the small ( $ 13) savings observed suggest the limitation of this business as a means to alleviate poverty ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Ecommerce, Global Contexts, Operations Management, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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