An example of a successful mobile payments operation
IN 2007 Safaricom, the biggest mobile operator in Kenya, launched M-PESA, a service that allows money to be sent and received using mobile phones. It has since signed up 15m users, is used by 70% of the adult population and has become central to the economy: around 25% of Kenya’s GNP flows through it.
I find it very interesting that over a quarter of Kenya's GNP is now handled by mobile payents. That may be the first clear evidence that the technology is going to be much more widely used in the future. As this article notes:
[R]ather than fighting mobile money, governments should use it themselves. Afghanistan pays policemen and other officials their wages using the local version of M-PESA. Tanzania accepts tax payments by mobile-money services. They can also be used to deliver welfare or aid payments. Other countries should watch and learn.