Mpesa And The Mobile Phone

We all have (I think) experience of the mobile phone as an instrument of torture, whether it be the phrase “I’m on the bus”  the teenager (not always so) who wants to share the latest dance mix with us or the supermarket “do you want peas or carrots?”. I watched fascinated one day on a bus when a chap got on the bus with an aerial equipped gadget in his ear while holding  his mobile about an inch from said device while having a mobile phone conversation which everybody could hear as the volume on the phone was tweaked well up, it looked to flash for a hearing aid. I’m still trying to get this fella performance money.

Of course they are useful, I have one myself , amusing too if you are lucky enough to have one with all the bells and whistles, recently though I heard about MPESA which brings a heart warming perspective, life changing communication. A solution maybe to what we should do with our unwanted working mobiles (I know there are recycling things going on) assuming the good folk in Kenya or where ever the scheme takes hold would want our cast offs, just a thought.

MPESA is a mobile banking service for those that are too far away to get to a bank, or don’t have the kind of money banks (previously at any rate) would be interested in (see last paragraph). Places like Kenya where a person that sells tomatoes would previously have had to walk miles to pay for and collect their goods to sell can now give the money to an MPESA agent in their town and the sellers MPESA agent (in their town, maybe village is a better word, I don’t know) will then give over the money and goods be delivered. This is besides the advantage of being able to shop around by SMS or call for the best prices. Nice one, here we have so many choices of communication its easy to get “so what?” about it.

The footnote to this is that I have heard or read, cant remember which, that banks in Kenya are starting to take notice of the system and no doubt worried that they are missing out are looking into its legalities, starting to moan a bit, why else would it be?, a mass market they have ignored for years has found a way to do without them, again, nice one.