Tim Harrabin, the former Vodafone executive who built the fabled M-PESA service in Kenya, has a new goal, which he described at the GSMA NFC & Mobile Money Summit in New York: “My mission is to replace cash for everyone, not just those badged as unbanked,”
I can understand why a mobile executive wants to replace cash with mobile money, but I’m not sure that consumers want it as much as the mobile companies do. Cash has two big (and possibly unique) advantages: it’s not dependent on technology, and, more important, it’s anonymous. I know that many of my northern European colleagues have given up cash, but I still find it very convenient and easy, especially for small transactions and other “cash transfers,” like leaving tips, where a mobile solution could be more cumbersome.
What do you think?Photo by Doug Wheller from flickr