Moving Upwardly: Lessons from Mobile Payments in Kenya


Josh Glendinning


5th edition (2014/2015)


Technology / Payments

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In the 1910s, every morning my great-grandfather would cycle across the small manor estate on which he was employed to turn on the recently-installed electricity gene-rator which provided power to the owners. The house was likely among the earliest in the country and per-haps the world to have a regular supply of electricity.

Today, it is accepted that every house in the United Kingdom and most of the developed world should have an electricity supply. The same is true of most other inventions of the so-called ‘second industrial revo-lution’ that immensely improved the lives of people in the West during the course of the twentieth century: indoor plumbing, the internal com-bustion engine, washing machines, central heating, refrigerators, and te-lecommunications (see, for example, Gordon, 2012, pp. 4-7).

People in the West have also been the first to experience the nu-merous social changes and benefits that these technologies can bring, such as reductions in rates of di-sease, increases in leisure time, and improved communications. The patterns of usage and consumption of new technologies are also esta-blished here through concomitant changes in culture and the creation of new economies.

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