Can M-Pesa Happen Here?

M-PesaMust see TV for Fintech and Underbanked followers is the 60 minutes piece on M-Pesa http://cbsn.ws/1NKzzUP. 90% of the country use mobile money. 19 million Kenyans pay for everything from taxis, cows, water, to solar electricity with M-Pesa.  They call is the “Sahara Valley”. Why does it work so well in a country where the average daily salary is $2.00 and their mobile phones look like 90s era Nokia bricks.   To quote the CEO of Safaricom; “the most effective barrier against mobile money is the banking lobby”.  In the U.S. its really the fact that the banking, financial technology and telecom industry providers just can’t develop or agree on standards.  We live in a disruptive world but until we agree on standards that are universally accessible for all consumers, retailers, card holders and cell phones, M-Pesa will remain a dream in the U.S. The mash up of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Chase Pay, MCX, Current IC, RFID, bar codes, beacons, Google Wallet, Paypal, Venmo…. Well you get the picture.

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