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Why Doesn’t Every Kenyan Business Have a Mobile Money Account?

The contribution of mobile payments (and in particular M-PESA) in Kenya to strengthening family/social networks is well documented, and its potential to tackle financial inclusion is well understood. What has perhaps received less attention is how well mobile money is serving the business market. This study by Ignacio Mas assesses how extensive is the use of M-PESA in business environments, both formal and informal. We found a relatively low level of adoption of M-PESA in business transactions, and examine a variety of reasons that explain that. The research was entirely qualitative, based on interviews with a diverse range of 70 or so businesses.

Ignacio Mas
Ignacio Mas is a Senior Fellow at CEME at the Fletcher School. He has been deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has held senior telecoms jobs at Vodafone and Intel, and has been adjunct professor at the Business School at the University of Chicago. He holds a SB degree from MIT and a PhD from Harvard.

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