31 Mar '14, 7pm

Forget Bitcoin, African E-Money Is the Currency-Killer

Forget Bitcoin, African E-Money Is the Currency-Killer

Money Forget Bitcoin, African E-Money Is the Currency-Killer 16 Mar 31, 2014 2:55 PM ET By Leonid Bershidsky All the talk of bitcoin in recent years has overshadowed the real e-finance revolution: In Africa, India and now Eastern Europe , a service called M-Pesa has replaced banking for millions of people who don't have or, in fact, even need a bank account. Safaricom, Kenya's leading mobile operator, majority-owned by a subsidiary of France's Orange and operated by the U.K.'s Vodafone, introduced M-Pesa -- mobile money in Swahili -- in 2007. Soon the system had an agent in just about every village and every corner of Nairobi's vast Kibera slum. Locals came to the agents with their phones -- just plain old Nokias, not fancy smartphones -- signed up and received a new menu from the operator, allowing one to transfer money to another mobile number. M-Pesa could be cashed at ...

Full article: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-31/forget-b...

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