Pick pockets oppose cashless transactions

By Mark Mutahi

Local pickpockets have come out to strongly condemn the shift Kenya is taking towards a cashless society.

At a press conference held in a secret and remote location, the pickpockets criticised the move by financial institutions and mobile phone networks to popularise electronic and mobile money, saying it is robbing them of their means of livelihood.

“Whenever people carry ATM cards and keep money in their SIM cards, it means that whenever we dip our hands into their pockets, we come out empty handed! This is threatening our means of survival must be discouraged in the strongest terms possible,” asserted Yellow Pages, the spokesperson for the pickpockets, so named because his fingers do all the walking in people’s pockets.

Regarding the numerous electronic and mobile money products being introduced into the market, the pickpockets called for a halt in the pace of innovation.

“For all those people with brilliant ideas, this is the time to stop thinking and let the rest of the world overtake you for the sake of our job security!” said Yellow Pages, as he shifted his dark glasses.

One pickpocket in the group lamented how he has gone for weeks without finding money in victim’s  wallets, just ‘useless’ ATM cards. The hapless pickpocket said he may be forced to quit the passion of his life, like thousands of other pickpockets.

“This should not be a cause of celebration for anyone because Nairobi and the country at large will have lost the coveted position of being the crime capital of East Africa,” he added, tears welling in his eyes.


The pickpockets went on to warn that with Kenyans increasingly carrying less cash in their pockets and more ATM and SIM cards, they might be left with no choice but to turn to ATM card fraud. The only drawback is the intense competition because it is a sector dominated by foreigners, especially Eastern Europeans. Now they are seeking the government’s help.

“The government should assist us gain the necessary skills meant to help us skim ATM card information as well as providing loans. This will enable us afford the technology required for the job and claw back the market share away from the foreigners and get it back to the locals. We must protect local jobs at all costs!” said Yellow Pages.

If need be, the pickpockets are asking the government to ban all foreigners from engaging in ATM fraud and instead leave the field exclusively to the locals.

“If that’s not possible, at least the government should allocate a certain quota of the market share to locals,” suggested Yellow Pages.

The pickpockets also revealed that they will soon be unveiling a campaign dubbed “In cash we Trust’. The aim of the campaign will be rolling back the gains made by both financial institutions and mobile networks in expanding the reach and adoption of mobile and electronic money.

They hinted that the campaign would target Kenyans of goodwill to boycott cashless transactions and to also wear a ribbon or an armband inscribed with the words, “Every time you choose not to carry cash, you put a pickpocket out of work; Use hard cash, create jobs!”