The Future of Banking is in Kenya

Kenya started a banking revolution, one coming to the world from Africa. The Gates Foundation, the Department of State, the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos (WEF), and companies around the world invite Carol Realini to talk with them about this – and some even travel to Kenya to see it first hand. They want to understand what started first in Kenya and is now moving quickly around the world.

“Africa is the Silicon Valley of banking. The future of banking is being defined here.” says Carol Realini . “The new models for what will be mainstream throughout the world are being incubated here. It’s is changing the world.”

It started in 2007 and now about 80% of the mobile phones users in Kenya use Mobile Money – mPesa is the most popular but all mobile operators offer a similar offering (including Obopay is being offered by YU). And banks, merchants, service providers have all joined in to increase the uses and acceptance of mobile money. Because of the scale of adoption and usage, innovation is happening in Kenya first and then is exported to other markets.

The world has taken notice of such success. Obopay is developing mobile-banking services for clients in the U.S., India, Senegal and 5 other countries around the world. “There are 100 countries around the world looking to Kenya and asking, ‘How do we do that?'” Realini says. Executives and Board members from MNOs and Banks take trips to Kenya to see the future.

Don’t be surprised to see Kenyan-style mobile-banking apps on your phone in the near future, says Realini. It may be even more popular than Google Wallet and Paypal. It addresses a burning need since 2.7 Billion people who have mobile phones don’t have adequate access to banking – but that is all changing. If you want to know how – go to Kenya.

Read more about Kenya in Time

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