The M-Pesa ecosystem is proving to be a crucial infrastructure for businesses and customers on the African continent. Currently, M-Pesa is enabling more than one million businesses fulfill different transactions.
According, to M-Pesa Managing Director Mr. Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, more than 70,000 developers have used the M-Pesa Open APIs. An Application Programming Interface (API) is simply how two different systems talk to each other. In the case of the M-Pesa ecosystem, the Open APIs enable payment receipt, automated payment disbursements, and payment reversal.
This machine-to-machine payment transfer has enabled M-Pesa to integrate with businesses and major financial players. Additional, M-Pesa ecosystem has been part of government digitalization. The eCitizen platform in Kenya is one such example.
Major financial players have integrated Mpesa into their business systems. This includes banks like Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), NCBA, and more. Additionally, M-Pesa open APIs have enabled integration with major African fintech institutions like Flutterwave and KopoKopo.
M-Pesa already has M-Pesa Global. The service has enabled M-PESA customers to transact in over 170 countries across the globe. Recently, Safaricom announced a partnership with TerraPay adding to a roster of more than 35 global partners.
Meanwhile, M-Pesa is a partner with Visa. The partnership enables customers to make virtual payments globally and businesses on M-PESA to receive payments from customers. In addition, there is an expected partnership between M-Pesa and Apple.
M-Pesa is also set to become the first mobile platform to introduce standing orders for users.
M-Pesa Ecosystem in Africa
Established on 6th March 2007 by Vodafone’s Kenyan associate, Safaricom, M-PESA is Africa’s leading mobile money service with more than 800,000 active agents operating across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
The M-Pesa ecosystem serves more than 59 million customers across the continent. In the financial year 2022/2023, M-Pesa revenue grew 8.8% to KES 117.2 billion. This accounted for almost 40% of Safaricom PLC’s earnings. Hence, it is Safaricom’s most profitable service.
Daily, 5 M-PESA services cater to between 5 to 10 million customers. In a year, over $314 billion is transacted through the M-PESA ecosystem.
Kenya is where M-Pesa has most of its customers. In the country, more than $4 billion (KES 587 billion) is deposited every month into bank accounts through M-PESA. The service also enables banks to disburse more than $40 million in credit per day especially in microloans. According to a Competitions Authority of Kenya report, 74% of the digital loans in Kenya are from lending platforms associated with M-Pesa.
For example, in the first half of the current financial year KCB disbursed KES 154.3 billion in mobile loans.
Taking a look at Mozambique, M-Pesa has been in the country for a decade now. Today, the ecosystem supports more than 5.8 million customers with financial services across a network of 53,000 agents and 25,000 businesses.
In August, Safaricom officially launched its mobile banking service M-Pesa in Ethiopia. This was followed by the announcement of partnerships with banks that will provide agent, super-agent, and mobile banking services. Ethiopia is a massive investment for Safaricom and the launch of M-Pesa opens up the fintech ecosystem to Africa’s second-largest population.