We really can learn a lot from emerging markets. Kenya launched the world’s first Treasury bond offered exclusively via a mobile phone in a bid to stimulate public participation in the capital markets, raise money cheaply and boost the national savings rate.
The Ks5bn ($48m) five-year retail M-Akiba infrastructure bond is based on Kenya’s innovative M-Pesa mobile money system, which allows mobile phone subscribers to send and save money and pay bills with a few clicks on their phone. All 21m Kenyans with a mobile money account will be able to buy the bond in increments as small as Ks3,000 ($28.85) and trade it on the secondary market from anywhere. Previously they had to register at one of the central bank’s four offices, fill in numerous forms and spend at least Ks50,000.