With more than 604,000 active agents operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania, M-PESA was launched on March 6, 2007, by Safaricom, a Kenyan affiliate of Vodafone. Early in 2020, a newly formed joint venture between Vodacom and Safaricom and Vodafone Group successfully acquired the M-PESA trademark. The joint venture will hasten the expansion of M-PESA throughout Africa by providing both Vodacom and Safaricom complete control over the M-PESA brand, product development, and support services, as well as the chance to expand M-PESA into new African markets (Vodafone).
Customers can use an overdraft option on M-PESA to help them make payments when their account balance isn’t nearly adequate. The size of their overdraft might increase with a higher credit score. To provide clients with the finest service possible even when they have limited float, agents also have access to an overdraft.
Additionally, real-time money transfers are available for customers and agents between their M-PESA wallets and bank accounts. Through their M-PESA business accounts, firms may accept payments for goods and services using 6-digit till numbers, QR codes, point-of-sale devices, or digital invoicing.
Finally, the M-PESA Open API hub enables programmers to securely test and implement M-PESA services on platforms from other companies. By purchasing premium advertising space on the M-PESA customer and business applications, businesses may increase traffic and engagement. A vast ecosystem of third-party services is created by the M-PESA customer and corporate super applications. The mini-app capability exposes a wide range of new services to M-PESA clients as well as a sizable customer base to the mini-app partners, whether it be for e-commerce, travel, events, or business services.
12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN are achieved in part thanks to international remittances. It has been demonstrated, for instance, that a 10% increase in remittances per capita results in a 3.5% decrease in poverty (United Nations, 2020). M-PESA is the recipient of over US$1.5 billion in remittances annually, including 60% of official remittances into Kenya and 20% into Tanzania. M-PESA can do this thanks to strong partnerships with top money transfer companies like Western Union, MoneyGram, World Remit, Remitly, and MFS Africa.
President Kenyatta stated in July 2015 that “M-KOPA has provided solar illumination benefits to thousands of rural families, enabling our children to study and freeing our mothers from the stress of bringing firewood and burning kerosene late into the night.” Most homes cannot afford the initial purchase of the solar system, but M-PESA users make tiny daily payments to M-KOPA to cover the cost of the kit over the course of a year. After then, the homeowner completely owns the solar system and is free to keep using it without having to make any more payments.
The Kenyan telecom Safaricom’s M-PESA service has established itself as its most lucrative offering and now accounts for approximately half of all gross revenues generated by the business. According to Safaricom’s brand-new 2022 annual report, which for the first time detailed the portion of income related to the mobile money platform, this is the case. Despite only making up 38% of the Kenyan operator’s total service revenue, M-PESA’s profit before taxes for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2022, was 50 billion Kenyan shillings (US$423 million), or over 50% of the telco’s total profit before taxes of KES102.2 billion ($865 million). M-annualized Pesa’s revenue increased by 30.3% (YoY) to KES107.69 billion (US$911 million).
The yearly report stated that the “uptake of mobile money services continued to expand since their convenience and cashless character was regarded as helping to restrict the spread of COVID-19.” As a consequence of the epidemic forcing customers to use online and mobile money payment methods, the Kenyan ICT sector has, in general, seen strong development. According to the research, M-PESA handled 2,000 transactions per second during the most recent fiscal year as opposed to 1,800 transactions per second during the year before.
According to the operator, 41% of Kenyans were completely excluded from access to financial services 15 years ago, and before the launch of M-PESA, only 27% of the country’s population had access to formal financial services. However, 32% had access to informal financial services, including loans from unregulated money lenders. Kenya now has the third-highest level of formal financial inclusion in Africa, up from just under 30% in 2011 to over 80% in 2021, according to a statement from Safaricom.
According to Statista, the Kenyan e-commerce business has had consistent development and is projected to reach an estimated market volume of $2 billion by 2024. Despite the lack of precise statistics for home e-commerce usage, a 2016 National ICT survey conducted jointly by the Authority and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) found that 39% of commercial firms were involved in e-commerce (Maudhui Newsroom, 2022).
I can verify that out of all the things Safaricom offers, including its extensive array of phone and SMS services, data bundles, and home fiber, I value M-PESA the most. So many processes were stalled before the product. But since the company’s founding in 2007, it has put a lot of effort into the product, and as a result, its prospects are quite promising.
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