An Emerging Platform: From Money Transfer System to Mobile Money Ecosystem.

Categories : Mobile money & mobile technology, Technology and Operational Enablers


Author: Cleo Turner

While it has often been described as a money transfer product, when mobile money reaches scale it can also be seen as a network infrastructure and platform facilitating the exchange of cash and electronic value between various economic actors including clients, businesses, the government, and financial service providers. In the past, the emergence of other network infrastructures that provide new ways of moving people, goods, energy or information (canals, railroads, electricity, telecommunications, internet, etc.) has had transformative effects on the economy. This paper documents what may be the early stages of just such a transformation in the market for retail financial services in Kenya, where the M-PESA mobile money product has achieved the scale necessary to form an infrastructure backbone to the financial system.