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Archive for July, 2012

Kenya Diaspora

26 Jul

To their families and loved ones, they are seen as providers; they are the unselfish, giving individuals who have travelled long distances across oceans to find jobs in order to sustain their families by sending money back home on a regular basis.

Their contribution however does exceed development on a personal level. They have aided the erection and are the backbone of NGO’s, political parties, health centres, etc. Remittances have become a powerful force for poverty reduction. It has facilitated concrete development in Kenya on both national and community levels although some of their efforts are unappreciated and without structural support.

 
 

Financial inlcusion

23 Jul

My last post touched a little on financial inclusion being one of the main advantages of mobile money transfers. Ideally, financial inclusion means having access to a savings or cheque account with a local bank.

So in essence, we can safely say that anyone who does not have a bank account is not financially included.

What exactly is financial inclusion?

It is basically the delivery of banking services at an affordable cost to the disadvantaged and low income groups.

In order to understand this better, let us look at the impacts of financial exclusion which include:

  • Loss of consumers: This will impact small businesses negatively.
  • Increased unemployment
  • General decline in investments.
  • Social exclusion.

How does remittance play a role in financial inclusion?

In simple terms remittance allows people who ordinarily do not have access to banking services to actually go into a bank with just their ID document and collect or send money.

So, although the banking system sometimes marginalises the already marginalised, remittance makes available the banking and payment services to the entire population without discrimination.

 
 

Benefits of mobile money Transfers

19 Jul

In My last post, I wrote about the major role that M-PESA has played in the remittance of money from abroad.

Today I wish to explore some of the Key benefits mobile money transfer specifically the M-PESA platform in regards to sending money to Kenya from the UK .

Convenience

Unlike the banks, the MPESA service is accessible 24/7 and money can be received anywhere given that there are more than 18000 MPESA outlets in Kenya.

Lower costs

The cost of remitting money is very high in most parts of the world with costs ranging from as high as 3% and 10%. Mobile technology can however lower the cost of remittances as it removes the need for physical points of presence and ensures a timely and secure method of transaction.

Security

MPESA  provides unbanked mobile phone users with a secure platform which uses simple, tailored menus on their phone to send fully encrypted and Pin locked messages to a thoroughly audited financial accounting system.

It also eliminates the need to carry cash around once payment has been made to the recipient phone.

Financial inclusion

I believe this is one of the major benefits of mobile money. With severe constraints on the physical infrastructure of financial institutions, a large part of the population is excluded from the formal banking system. With about 840 bank branches around the country, this does not not go far in term of catering for the needs of the more than 38 million people in the economy.

The MPESA system has brought many financially excluded customers under the formal financial system.

 
 

The Nairobi stock exchange

12 Jul

Established in 1954, the Nairobi stock exchange is somewhat speculative and still very small. It is the fourth largest in Sub-Saharan, with just over 50 countries registered in 2010.

The products traded at the NSE are Shares and Bonds. Shares and Bonds are money or financial products. Another name for Shares is Equities, while Bonds are also known as Debt Instruments. Products traded at the NSE are in one name called Securities.

At the moment, there are over 50 different types of shares and over 60 of bonds at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

What is the importance of this market to the economy?

For an economy to grow, money needs to shift from les to more productive activities. In other words, idle money and savings should be invested in productive activity for the economy to grow. The Stock Exchange makes this possible by:

  • Bringing the borrowers and lenders of money together at a low cost, thus enabling idle money and savings to become productive.  We therefore encourage savings and investments.
  • Educating the public about the higher profits in shares and bonds.
  • Facilitating good management of companies by asking them to give periodic reports of their performance.
  • Providing financial solutions to common problems.

Through shares and bonds; helping organizations raise money to expand their business activities, make a profit, create employment and generally help the economy