Examining trust in mobile banking transactions: The case of M-PESA in Kenya
This chapter examines how trust can emerge and be sustained in the context of mobile transactions. It focuses on M-PESA, a mobile banking system in Kenya, using data from an ethnographic study that was deployed in Kibera—one of Africa’s largest slums. We present research in progress and discuss two main findings. Firstly, interpersonal trust relations between the customers and agents are weak. Customers do not trust the agents with their money. Secondly, the institutional trust relations between the customer and Safaricom, the mobile service provider offering M-PESA, are strong. This means that customers use the M-PESA service because they believe that their money will be kept safe by Safaricom. After providing empirical evidence to substantiate these claims, this study concludes by suggesting questions for future research.
Keywords: Mobile banking, M-PESA, trust, Kibera.