Emerging Tech

Kenyans adopted payments by phone at a lightning pace

Nairobi streets are adorned with mobile phone ads.

Nairobi streets are adorned with mobile phone ads. // Sayyid Azim/AP file photo

Americans may think of themselves as early adopters when it comes to new technology, but this chart of how fast Kenya adopted mobile money, or payments by cell phone, by World Bank blogger and economist Wolfgang Fengler , shows how big a role cultural and social needs can play. According to World Bank figures, about 80 percent of cell phone users in Kenya use mobile money. Just over four years ago, virtually nobody in Kenya was using mobile payments. By comparison, a survey by the Federal Reserve found that 42 percent of Americans don't trust mobile payments to be secure. Less than 12 percent of respondents said they'd made mobile payments in the past year.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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// September 19
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