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Cash Lite: Are We There Yet?: Rethinking the Evolution of Electronic Payments in Kenya Based Evidence in the Kenyan and South African Financial Diaries

While momentum has been growing behind digital payments in advanced economies for decades, movement in developing countries has lagged behind. Some have anticipated that there may be a leapfrog opportunity for accelerated movement towards this vision in Kenya, where the cutting edge M-PESA mobile payment service has grown to near ubiquity across social strata in just seven years. The growing use of electronic payments has given birth to the idea that, perhaps not far into the future, we may see the first ‘cashless society’. And in such conversations, Kenya is often highlighted as a country whose innovative banking and mobile money sectors make it a prime candidate for rapid progress towards such a vision. While a completely cashless economy may not be feasible or even desirable, reducing reliance on cash for many transactions is quite attractive for business and policymakers for a number of reasons: Cash is expensive; Cash costs put up barriers to financial inclusion; and Electronic payments may in themselves play a role in enabling better money management. Read more here. 

FSD Kenya
We support the development of financial inclusion in Kenya. Our work ranges from direct investment in market innovations to research and policy analysis. Everything we do seeks to harness financial solutions to meet the needs of lower income households and smaller scale businesses – to help them to manage scarce resources and invest in the future. In short, our aim is to make financial markets work better for the poor.

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