Necessity is the mother of invention! Perhaps such "necessity" is more obvious in Kenya? Following is old news but worth revisiting to remember that emergent consumer focused trends and capturing their value is more and more an emerging markets forte.
"SWAHILI continues to creep into the language of global finance. M-PESA, a thriving money-transfer system run by Safaricom, a Kenyan mobile-phone operator, and named after the word for “cash”, has already entered the lexicon. Having persuaded millions of Kenyans to send cash through an SMS network, … .
Safaricom has nearly as many subscribers as Kenya has adults—19m people from a population of 43m. Almost 15m of them use M-PESA for everything from paying electricity bills to school fees, thanks to a simple text-based menu that is accessible on even the most basic mobile phone. The firm, which is 40%-owned by Vodafone, makes its money through transaction fees when customers withdraw or transfer cash at a network of more than 40,000 M-PESA agents throughout the country."
Read the complete article at the Economist here.