Paper

How Cellphone Technology Can Mobilise Microfinance

Can mobile phones lower the cost of microfinance?
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This presentation, commissioned by the mobile network operator, Vodafone, describes how cell phone technology can mobilize microfinance. It focuses particularly on Vodafone's M-Pesa Project, located in Kenya.The presentation details the:

  • Main features of Vodafone;
  • Advantages of using a mobile phone;
  • M-Pesa project, that aims to:
    • Improve the efficiency of microfinance by using mobile technology to make transactions faster, cheaper and more secure;
    • Create a mobile-enabled version of an existing microfinance system, by partnering with Kenyan businessmen;
  • Transaction types that M-Pesa can support;
  • Expected benefits like:
    • Consumer convenience;
    • Security;
    • Real time view of cash flow;
    • Reduction in the costs of the microfinance institution.
  • Status of the Microfinance-Pesa business trial that is being held in various provinces of Kenya;
  • Challenges faced by this technology:
    • Need to fine-tune the technology;
    • Business processing, and training the consumers and the regulator.

The presentation concludes with a look into the future and identifies:

  • Further concepts to be launched in Kenya;
  • Other countries that are interested in the concept;
  • The goal of low-cost international remittances.