mobile commerce for community economic development

From time to time, I’ll write about opportunities for information technology to advance community development. How do you encourage local economic development when so much of your populace is excluded from mainstream financial institutions? Kenya has become the first country to allow cell phone users to send cash to other phone users via text messages.

Update: lest you think that mobile phones would be largely out of reach of poor Kenyans, here are some statistics from the article:

19% Adult Kenyans with bank accounts

54% Adult Kenyans with a mobile phone or access to one

2 Responses to “mobile commerce for community economic development”

  1. Farhad Madan says:

    Just wanted to correct the impression that Kenya is the first country to launch this. Globe Telecom’s “GCash” service in the Philippines has been providing this facility (transfer of money to other users via text mesaage) for a long time already.

  2. sieber says:

    Thanks for the comment. For me, the question will be, how easy will it be for people to obtain the money.