Will crypto currency kill Mpesa?

Bob Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom which owns MPESA

In the sub Saharan Africa the most revolutionary technology and innovation is that of mobile money. Mobile money technology involves the ability to send money from one person to another using mobile phone text message. The technology has been revolutionary because people used to rely on banks to send money and the unbanked people used to rely on other people to send cash to rural areas. However the emergence of Mpesa transformed money transfer services and enabled people to easily send money anywhere in the countries in the Sub Saharan countries. The Mobile money business has since then grown to exponentially with companies such as Safaricom in Kenya generating profits of over $400 million pegged on MPESA transactions over KES 2 trillion transacted through MPesa annually. Due to this, the MPESA service has become so big such that it deals with more money than some of the governments in the sub Saharan Africa. The money transfer service has seen the unbanked managing to join banks and open bank accounts. However the increasing costs of MPesa transactions is creating frustrations among users. Despite the need to transfer money to people in rural areas, the cost of sending a thousand shilling or $10 is $0.4 which significantly higher as the amount of transactions increases. This makes tech savvy users believe that the crypto currencies may overcome MPSA in the near future as people in Kenya and other Subsaharan countries adopt the block chain technology. The major reasons why the adoption has not been successful in Sub Saharan countries except South Africa is because central banks and the telecommunication companies with money transfer services have colluded to ensure that the crypto currencies do not get entry into those countries. This is because they would drive them out of their major business which is money transfer. People would simply use crypto to send money to each other and therefore avoid the high transaction charges which are levied by the mobile money companies. While the old folks many find it hard to adjust, millennials who are knowledgeable about bitcoin and crypto currencies such as litecoin which has very low transactional charges have started to adopt these crypto currencies. This implies that the adoption of crypto is increasing and soon mobile money businesses will be out of business once there is enough awareness about crypto currencies in the countries in Sub Saharan countries. This basically means that companies and crypto currency exchanges and wallets of crypto currency will have the $400 million market up for grabs through the low costs transactions. The low cost transactions which would be very popular among the costs conscious masses.  Although crypto currencies are depicted as money for criminals and especially for money launderers and cyber criminals in Sub Saharan Africa, this is bound to change.  MPESA will be replaced by the crypto currency which will be the medium of exchange among the millennials who are the fastest growing market in Sub Saharan Africa. Litecoin is likely to be the crypto currency that will change MPESA.

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mwangisamna
Staff Writer at Cryptobiz Global

I am a crypto enthusiast. A bitcoin trader and consultant in the frontier markets. I also Write and Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, I read and do some gardening. Author of So You Want to Get Into Courtship?. Practical and Mystical.


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