Every Kenyan knows what M-PESA is. The mobile money product by Safaricom has grown substantially, broken many records, and has even been exported to other parts of the world because of its local success.
However, when was it launched and how has it changed lives? The last question is quite straightforward owing to the product’s powerful nature. The idea that a person can send cash from their phone to the next person in a matter of seconds is, to say the least, insane. It doesn’t matter if your phone is connected to the internet or otherwise (M-PESA is now served by apps, and is complemented by a ton of other apps out there). Heck, M-PESA was, and is still being accessed from STK menu, which, while being cumbersome to some extent, is one of its novel features.
Many other services have been added to M-PESA. In 2013, for instance, Safaricom launched Lipa na M-PESA so merchants could accept bill payments from their customers.
Others include M-PESA global, an overdraft facility called Fuliza, which is also in the process of being available to business owners, to mention a few.
Launched in March 2007, the operator is now celebrating 15 years of M-PESA’s existence.
Here are some numbers for your consumption:
- M-PESA has 51 million customers
- More than 465K businesses use M-PESA
- There are more than 600K M-PESA agents
- The M-PESA ecosystem is supporting 42K developers
- It is available in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt
- It processes more than 61 million transactions per day, effectively making it the largest fintech in Africa
- The M-PESA app has been downloaded more than 9 million times. There is no other Kenyan app that comes close
- 320,000 businesses have downloaded the M-PESA Super App since its launch.
“We launched M-PESA back in 2007 in a bid to deepen financial inclusion for our customers by connecting them to useful and affordable financial services. In 15 years, we have seen population access to formal financial services grow to as high as 83% as we introduced additional services and reached more customers. Going into the future, we continue to build on our purpose to transform lives by providing our customers with a wide variety of digital solutions that empower them in an increasingly digital world,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO – Safaricom.
As part of this feat, Safaricom will reward 15 customers and 15 businesses every hour for 15 days from March 7, 2022 to March 22, 2022 for sending money or making payments through the M-PESA Super App and M-PESA Business Super App.
The winners will be randomly selected and will get back 15% of the transaction value up to a maximum of KES 1000.
“In the last 15 years, M-PESA has transformed the lives of millions of customers empowering them with useful and affordable financial services. With increasing smartphone usage across the continent, we are transitioning to be a digital financial services provider connecting customers and businesses in a digital world,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, MD – M-PESA Africa.