In the last one or so months since minister Michuki gave a certain directive about it, a number of things have been said about the Mobile money transfer M-PESA. In fact one Bankelele, a seasoned blogger gave it quite a generous thought and a detailed posting addressing several issues. From where am sitting, the fight for and against M-PESA reminds me of the early years when having a mobile phone in Kenya was a high end privilege. This was happening when most countries were moving fast in that direction and even smaller economies had already rolled out the service. Our government of the day still had very good reasons as to why mobile phones were not good for us. Chief among them was internal security.
What I know for sure is mobile money transfer or MMT as its known globaly is the next frontier for the telecommunications industry. What with fast shrinking revenues due to better, cheaper technology enabling more players to enter the business. Value added services are the way to go and one of the most attractive is currently MMT. its not lost to anyone that there are quite a number of safaricom subscribers who are still hooked to the network solely because of M-PESA. the convinience of this serice cannot be feted enough. Other innovations will come eg convergences of payTV, internet, mobile and so on which are already being practiced in much of Europe. In time, most people will want to do every type of communication via their mobile phone.Just wait until people are able to listen to whole sermons or take whole university degree courses via phone at prepaid rates!
Like Bankelele has stated clearly , I agree the stakes are quite high and some businesses will have to close down like a dry well. But its safer to embrace a stronger enemy (read threat) than wish it away or fight it. A company I once worked for made fortunes selling typewriters, ribbons, duplicating machines and so on. they were initially reluctant to start selling PCs and could try to disuade their customers from looking that direction even outlining several reasons why the PC would be dangerous to their business including ease with which information could be manipulated. They never went far.
MMT is an idea whose time has come globally and fighting it is like planting the wind all you reap is a whirlwind!