This IDC study is designed to inform IT executives of the possibilities surrounding M-PESA, a mobile money concept developed in Kenya that leverages a combination of smartphones and technology to provide electronic currency to the masses on a peer-to-peer level -- without the need for traditional banking infrastructure. It discusses M-PESA as a mobile currency and how it compares with capabilities within the United States. It assesses the current implementation of M-PESA in African countries and discusses the implications of M-PESA in relationship to mobile money as it functions today within the U.S. economy. The study compares current solutions with those that could be integrated in the United States by taking examples from the accomplishments of M-PESA in Kenya and beyond. In conclusion, it provides insight on possible next steps for senior executives from banking, telecom, and retail organizations.
"M-PESA is a revolutionary concept that has the possibility to completely transform the idea of how money is seen in today's economies," says Mike Jennett, vice president, Mobility Research with IDC's IT Executive Programs. "Its success in emerging markets has been possible because of centralized support and less strict monetary regulations; however, bank-based economies have an opportunity to serve a large population in the United States with products and services previously unprofitable through the use of concepts such as M-PESA. With the right mix of product, marketing, and infrastructure, the United States can become a leader in mobile currency."