The project which was launched in 2007, with the original idea targeting microfinance repayments was rolled out by Vodafone’s local operator in the country, Safaricom.
The system has had enormous effects on the lives of city residents and is slowly spreading to other parts of the country. It is estimated 25% of the country’s gross national product flows through the system. The system has also enabled its users to transfer money between bank accounts and the system in some markets (Jack and Suri, 19). Residents are also able to pay bills like electricity and water. Withdrawal and deposition of money and transfers from users to non- users is also another service offered by the system.
During its inception the system faced some diffusion challenges. Reliability and usability of the system were some of the trust issues residents had with the system. But this was taken care of by the Central Bank of Kenya through insisting that customer funds be deposited in a regulated financial institution.
A critical analysis of the system shows that this is an innovation of its kind in a sub-Saharan country. This system has improved the economy of this country. It has also offered financial solutions to country with almost 80% of the population lacking or having limited access to the traditional banking system.
Several things can be learnt from this system and be applied to the urban global north. It can be used to address employment by decentralizing banking services thus providing employment to people who will be agents (Merritt, 143). It is also easier to use and does not discriminate on the basis of literacy levels.