The M-Pesa Concept Applied To Voting

Just like the blockchain technology can be used for bitcoins but also for many other things, I believe the basic technology and promise behind the wonderful m-pesa can be leveraged for the cause of democracy in the developing world.

You should be able to vote through SMS. You should be able to participate in internal voting inside political parties. You should be able to use this for what is often called electronic voting. You would reply to a SMS, send 1 for candidate A, send 2 for candidate B and so on.

Mobile phones that do voice calls and text messages are pretty widespread by now. Almost everyone has one.

I believe SMS can also have ecommerce applications.

Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money?
Paying for a taxi ride using your mobile phone is easier in Nairobi than it is in New York ...... now used by over 17m Kenyans, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the adult population; around 25% of the country’s gross national product flows through it. M-PESA lets people transfer cash using their phones, and is by far the most successful scheme of its type on earth. Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money? ...... Once you have signed up, you pay money into the system by handing cash to one of Safaricom’s 40,000 agents (typically in a corner shop selling airtime), who credits the money to your M-PESA account. You withdraw money by visiting another agent, who checks that you have sufficient funds before debiting your account and handing over the cash. You can also transfer money to others using a menu on your phone. Cash can thus be sent one place to another more quickly, safely and easily than taking bundles of money in person, or asking others to carry it for you. This is particularly useful in a country where many workers in cities send money back home to their families in rural villages. Electronic transfers save people time, freeing them to do other, more productive things instead. ........ M-PESA has since been extended to offer loans and savings products, and can also be used to disburse salaries or pay bills, which saves users further time and money (because they do not need to waste hours queuing up at the bank). One study found that in rural Kenyan households that adopted M-PESA, incomes increased by 5-30%. In addition, the availability of a reliable mobile-payments platform has spawned a host of start-ups in Nairobi, whose business models build on M-PESA’s foundations. Mobile-money schemes in other countries, meanwhile, have been held up by opposition from banks and regulators and concerns over money-laundering.