An article in GigaOM suggests that mobile payment systems may find their niche among the “underbanked” in the USA. Indeed, that seems to have been the case in Kenya, the poster child for mobile payment success. where M-PESA serves 14 million customers in 4 countries. Its success was due to a combination of factors, including a dominant, creative mobile operator and a cooperative regulatory environment.
It’s proven difficult to replicate the success of M-PESA in other countries (regulation seems to be a big factor), but who knows; perhaps we in the USA can duplicate the success of Kenya, Madagascar, and other similar advanced nations