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Mobile payments- payment services conducted via a mobile device-have been a key driver of socioeconomic development in emerging markets. Factors such as advancements in technology, socioeconomic conditions, and the high penetration rate of mobile devices are driving m-payment development in certain emerging markets. As Tom Standage noted in his “Virgin Territory” Economist article (17 Nov. 2011), it's “easier to use your mobile phone to pay for a taxi in Nairobi [Kenya's capital] than in New York.” A well-developed m-payment ecosystem has evolved in Kenya that, as of February 2012, had over 18 million m-payment users. In the Asia Pacific, m-payment is expected to grow by 15 percent annually, reaching US$3.8 billion by 2015.2 Likewise, mobile banking in Africa is expected to reach US$22 billion by 2015.3 Table 1 presents some examples of m-payment systems in the emerging economies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Date of Publication: July-Aug. 2012