I’ve Seen the Future (in Haiti)
- December 5, 2010
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF from the New York Times
Cash is so 20th century.
I’ve been experimenting with a 21st-century alternative, using money on a cellphone account to buy goods in shops. It’s a bit like using a credit card, but the system can also enable you to use your cellphone account to transfer money to individuals or companies domestically or internationally. And it’s more secure because a thief would have to steal not only your phone but also your PIN to get access to your money.
What’s really astonishing, though, is the site of my experimentation with “mobile money.” Not in the banking capitals of New York City or London, but in this remote Haitian town of St.-Marc.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on December 5, 2010, on page WK10 of the New York edition.