A Cashless Economy Is Critical for Driving Kenya’s Socio-economic Transformation agenda
About two decades ago, big banks in Kenya could gladly cherry-pick and retain only the high-end customers, leaving the majority unbanked and dependent on exploitative money-lenders or informal savings clubs.
How times have changed! Today, Kenyans now can not only choose from a wide range of financial institutions catering to the lowest of income customers, but the big banks have also been forced to go down-market. This came about as a result of the rise in micro-finance institutions and savings and cooperative societies, but in most part due to innovations in technology and digitization of financial services.
In 2007, mobile money, M-PESA for short, was introduced in Kenya by the country’s biggest mobile network, Safaricom Limited, as a simple way of repaying micro-loans via cell phone. Since then, this innovation has spread widely throughout the country, with the financial sector now delivering sundry business models, including the use of mobile agents in lieu of bank branches to increase access and reduce operational costs.
Here is a perspective: