A terrific re/code article that points out that by simply firing up your SMS app in rural Africa you can buy something. The merchant gives you a code, which you enter along with the merchant’s identifying code. You then type in an amount, which is verified against your current balance. The merchant then receives a notification, and the transaction is complete. And the pure genius.. it essentially skips over traditional banking infrastructure!
An old-economy service that Africa is likely to skip will be personal banking. In the U.S., our tech focus tends to be on China and the role that mobile payments play there with WeChat or AliPay, or more broadly on the innovation going on payments between the innovative PayPal, Square and, of course, bitcoin. In Africa, almost no one has a bank account, and definitely no credit cards. But as we saw, everyone has a mobile phone.