Audiences to Users: The Paradigm Shift in the Role of Audiences in the Execution of Mobile Money Transactions in Kenya

Martina Mutheu Mulwa, Lynete Lusike Mukhongo, Samwel Ngigi


Mobile money systems have increasingly demonstrated a paradigm shift in the role played by audiences in the execution of transactions now dominantly characterized by independent manipulation of virtual accounts as opposed to receptivity and exposure functions previously attributed to audiences. This paper discusses findings of use experiences by both urban and rural dwellers undertaken in Kenya in 2012 documenting the added value mobile money has brought to the lives of users as well as demonstrating the active role audiences played in managing their financial accounts. It further discusses mobile money attributes that call for new theorization and in effect prompting a deviation from the traditional analysis of users as recipients of information to actual initiators of information. It illustrates the need for alternative descriptions of passivity and activity of users in mobile money.  The new roles call for a deliberate strategy to enhance usability and usefulness of their engagement through suitable products in terms of access, affordability and ease of use.

Keywords: mobile money systems, role of audiences in mobile money transactions, uses and gratifications.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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