Re: Interview: Kipochi founder Pelle Braendgaard

On Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:58:36 +0400, Kingsley Idehen  
<> wrote:

> On 8/6/13 6:04 PM, Pelle Braendgaard wrote:
>>     Are you concerned about the instability of the governments over  
>> there?
>>     Bribery (or "failing" to pay bribes)? Attracting the wrong type of
>>     attention from a local militia?
>> Not really. We are primarily an internet based business and all
>> important resources are not in Africa. Only a few countries are
>> plagued by local militias so I'm not too worried about that.
> Having lived in Nigeria for 14+ years, and even factoring current
> deterioration in local law and order, this solution is the mechanism for
> revitalizing the "System D style economy" that underpins African
> countries like Nigeria. Basically, every family (rich or poor) has
> access to a mobile phone (typically basic and at least capable of SMS).
> Militias are most effective when the economy is overly dependent on
> hard-cash. Take out hard-cash and the risks diminish significantly.

Only until they get wise enough to demand e-Payment. I have been  
"helpfully" driven to an ATM to facilitate my withdrawal of enough cash to  
pay a "fine" in the past.

More useful is to put personal security measures in place - a "panic code"  
that notes a transaction is made under duress can provide an audit trail,  
without necessarily jeopardising the user by failing to complete the  
transaction. It depends on a functioning follow-up system, which is of  
course least likely in the places that it is most needed, but it isn't  
entirely useless as a concept.

> IMHO. These kinds of solutions are going to mature in Africa before the
> U.S. truly gets to understand the implication and inherent opportunity
> costs associated with regulations that span 40+ states :-)

Yeah, I agree. Although they (and Europe) are also dealing with the  
ongoing consequences of having brought down a lot of those barriers only  
to see their systems go pear-shaped 5 years ago as a result.

The US is probably the last place that will figure out a new payment  
system. They have one that sorta works for most people already  
(transaction values are high enough to use credit cards, or stored-value)  
so there is less pressure to change. And it doesn't seem like a place that  
makes rapid and widespread technological change (outside a few urban  
enclaves). Although they are apparently getting chip-and-PIN credit cards  
now... (Banking like it's 1999)


Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex         Find more at

Received on Wednesday, 7 August 2013 18:43:33 UTC