Mobile Banking: Lessons learned in Kenya spreading to Afghanistan

Despite war and a crippled infrastructure, many in Afghanistan are turning to mobile instead of traditional banking. The Christian Science Monitor reports on the implementation and expansion of M-Paisa as a main means of trade and commerce in the country. While the effectiveness of the system has yet to be proven, there are several indicators that are encouraging – namely the lack of traditional banking infrastructure and the high mobile phone penetration. However, Afghanistan suffers from a number of factors that were not an issue in other countries where similar systems were implemented. War, lack of education and the subsequent illiteracy, and the absence of cash trade (gold or livestock are still the main means of trade in much of the country) are all issues that still need to be addressed if M-Paisa is to be as useful and successful as similar systems have proven to be in Kenya and Pakistan.




About CTED

CTED, as part of the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Grant, is a multidisciplinary research lab that focuses on combining economic principles, technological advances, and human-centric design to create innovative solutions for the problems experienced in emerging regions.
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