Kenya’s Banking Revolution

January 24, 2011  |  

(Time) — To meet the future of retail banking, cross Moi Avenue into the rougher part of downtown Nairobi, pass the Chicken Spot restaurant and squeeze between four stalls selling counterfeit mobile phones, and you’ll reach a door — and behind it a tiny room containing a hat stand, a wall calendar, a strip light and a desk.  Patrick Maina’s offices don’t look like a bank, his bank — Safaricom — doesn’t sound like one, and Maina doesn’t appear at all like a banker: 38 years old, he likes his suits iridescent and his head shaved; his manner is friendly and modest. Maina’s results over the past few years are particularly unbanklike.

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