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20 July 2008



(Of course, the logician in me wonders, without a bank account where exactly are you sending the money from?)

I guess your line up there summarizes whatever your excuse of a commentary you are trying to make.

Not sure if you are just into making parody or being critically cynical. If its the latter, let me try to shed light. The idea of an online money transfer with text message is wayy ahead of anything even in Palo Alto, where your banks wont let the govt give its subjects citizens the freedom to choose HOW to transfer money esp if its not being monitored by the govt!

The premise behind such a mobile payment system rests between 2 remote folks who can do trade faster this way. Person A goes to a store like Walmart, buys "mobile money" keys it into his phone and then "transfers" it via txt message to person B who upon receiving it can either cash it for free or use that to buy something else using the same mechanism from a participating vendor. Btw USA is sooo far behind in mobile telephony, Europe and Asian leaps have left you guys further back on the curve....actually on 2nd thought, U.S saturation and mobile adoption was always behind coz of the refusal to adopt standards- every provider wanted their own "standard" and their greed choked the market- same thing happening now.

Crusader AXE

I yield to very few in my disdain for the unregulated quasi-monopolistic marketplace that 20 of 28 years of Friedman triumphalism has produced. I think that the money transfer, as you explain it, is an excellent idea. Of course, I'm not so sure that the system works in absence of a bank, someplace, handling the transaction that at the lowest level of exchange appears direct, but isn't.

The US has yet to fully embrace the mobile phone revolution in the way that other countries have for a wide variety of reasons; in China, when I was teaching there several years ago, there were two totally different systems fighting it out for, most folks had two phones, one for each system. As I recall, one of the hot items on sale that Christmas was a phone that had a space for both chips, for sale in Shanghai for a mere $2000. US. Seriously. Or, 16000RMB. So, the unregulated Chinese telecom sector was at fault there.

I'd be excited if my reality check on Nairobi's future turns out to be very wrong. But, I doubt it.

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