Mobile penger i Kenya. Hvordan SMS er livsviktig for en økonomi.

Mobile money app
Her er hvordan en mobiltelefon er inngangen til samfunnet, og hvordan et individ kan flytte penger i et land med umoden infrastruktur. Her er historien om mobile penger, M-PESA, i Kenya fra en artikkel av William Jack og Tavneet Suri. Det er sentralbanken i Kenya som vil vite mer om pengeflyten i landet, og særlig innflytelsen av mobile penger. Her er sammendraget:

Mobile money is a tool that allows individuals to make financial transactions using cell phone technology. In this paper, we report initial results of two rounds of a large survey of households in Kenya, the country that has seen perhaps the most rapid and widespread growth of a mobile money product – known locally as M␣PESA – in the developing world. We first summarize the mechanics of M-PESA, and review its potential economic impacts. We then document the sequencing of adoption across households according to income and wealth, location, gender, and other socio␣economic characteristics, as well as the purposes for which the technology is used, including saving, sending and receiving remittances, and direct purchases of goods and services. In addition, we report findings from a survey of M␣PESA agents, who provide cash␣in and cash␣out services, and highlight the inventory management problems they face.

Ikke bare er konklusjonen om ekstremt kjapt opptak av ny teknologi, som mobile penger er, viktig men også konklusjonen om effekter på husholdningen og pengemengde:

M‐PESA is an innovation that clearly dominates its money‐transfer predecessors on virtually all dimensions. Users say it is faster, cheaper, more reliable, and safer, and a very large majority report that they would suffer significant negative consequences if it were to be shut down.

These expressed preferences suggest that M‐PESA is valued more by individuals than it costs. On the other hand, the precise source of these benefits – i.e., the specific economic impacts of M‐PESA – is not easy to calculate. We have identified a number of potential economic effects of M‐PESA at the household level – for example from impacts on saving and investment, to risk spreading and insurance. At the macroeconomic level, there could be important impacts on the money supply and inflation, with implications for the extent of Central Bank regulation and the conduct of monetary policy. We hope to explore these issues empirically in future work.

Hele artikkelen kan du lese her (pdf).

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