Problem: Sending money privately was not easy in Kenya. Whenever a person wanted to send money, especially, to remote rural areas, it was associated with travels to and from the bank to get a cash and a waiting period until he/she was free to travel and deliver money. Alternatively, one would choose to send neighbours or a public vehicle driver playing the route to take the cash to his parent. This risky method used to cost some money because the messengers often demanded tips.
Solution: M-Pesa (M for mobile, pesa is Swahili for money) is Africa's most successful mobile money service. It provides access to financial services to the millions of people who have a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account. M-Pesa provides people with a safe, secure and affordable way to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, receive salaries, get a short-term loan and much more.
Goals and objectives: M-Pesa aims to provide access to financial services to the millions of people who have a mobile phone.
Implementation: Established on 6th March 2007 by Vodafone's Kenyan associate, Safaricom, now M-Pesa has over 37 million active customers and almost 400,000 active agents operating across 7 countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Customers register for the service at an authorised agent, often this is a small mobile phone store or retailer, and then deposit cash in exchange for electronic money which they can send to their family or friends throughout the country.
Once they have registered, all transactions are completed securely by entering a PIN number and both parties receive an SMS confirming the amount that has been transferred. The recipient, who does not have to use the same network, receives the electronic money in real-time and then redeems it for cash by visiting another agent, or spends it at an M-Pesa merchant.
M-Pesa significantly reduces the potential risks of street robbery, burglary and petty corruption within cash-based economies where only a small proportion of the population benefit from access to conventional financial services.
M-Pesa enables businesses of all sizes to collect payment from customers, make stock purchases and pay salaries to employees anywhere in the country, providing SMS notifications of every transaction for record keeping.
M-Pesa also helps governments to collect taxes and disburse social security payments, whilst enabling charities and non-government organizations to send money to thousands of beneficiaries at once.
Achievements: In 2019, 37 million active customers carried out over 11 billion transactions, averaging over 500 transactions every second.
P.O Box 66827, 00800 Nairobi
Phone: +254 722 003272