Is it a phone, is it a bank?
- April 4, 2013
- Bill Maurer, anthropology and law professor and Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion director, is quoted in The Economist March 30, 2013
From The Economist:
Swahili continues to creep into the language of global finance. M-PESA, a thriving money-transfer system run by Safaricom, a Kenyan mobile-phone operator, and named after the word for “cash”, has already entered the lexicon. Having persuaded millions of Kenyans to send cash through an SMS network, Safaricom is now trying to tempt them into a savings-and-loans service called M-Shwari, after the Swahili for “cool” or “calm”... Rivals warn (they would, of course) that Safaricom’s heft is squeezing the scope for innovation. Some observers had hoped the firm would open its M-Shwari platform up to lots of banks but no lender except Commercial Bank of Africa may use Safaricom’s extensive network of agents. Bill Maurer of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion worries that without more competition, Kenya faces all the risks associated with a “monopoly or quasi-monopoly”. Safaricom is admired abroad; at home, its success is raising questions.
For the full story, please visit http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21574520-safaricom-w....