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View Diary: Money, Control and Power: M-Pesa, Bitcoin and Kipochi (29 comments)

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  •  M-Pesa is money tied to your cell phone account (6+ / 0-)

    I have lived in Tanzania and used M-Pesa.  It is a separate money account tied to your cell phone and different from phone minutes or phone credit.  You can transfer money from that account to buy cell phone credit, you can transfer money from your account to other phone numbers, you can pay bills directly to certain businesses, and importantly, you can withdraw money from the MPesa account.  This is a very convenient service, especially for the unbanked.  My electric meter ran on a voucher credit and if I ran out of power, I could buy credit from my phone using my M-Pesa account and would quickly receive a text message with a voucher number to punch into my meter to restore power.  Pesa is swahili for money and I believe this started in Kenya.

    •  Thanks for the clarification. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      One Pissed Off Liberal, CroneWit

      Like I said - I haven't used it.  Going on what I've seen - especially the initial acceptance of the African cell-phone providers to allow the transfer of minutes - I did the best I could.

      Do you think I should edit?  Or is it good enough to get the idea?

      It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

      by Jaime Frontero on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:10:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your decision (4+ / 0-)

        You can transfer phone credit also, which is stored as money value but not withdrawable like the mpesa account.  You buy a phone voucher for say 5000 shillings and then spend it as you use it, 60 shillings for a text message and 60 shillings per minute for an incountry call.  Because we do not have mpesa like banking here, the bitcoin service is allowing someone from here to send money to a MPesa account in East Africa.  This is a very valuable service for family members working in the US that want to send money home.  The recipient will pay a commission to withdraw the money so you need to send a little more than what you want them to receive.  It is an interesting system and I just wanted to fill in details for the MPesa side of it.

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