25 million active users are now on Vodafone M-Pesa, the company has announced, marking another accelerated growth for the innovative mobile money transfer service.
The company says across markets in Africa, Asia and Europe, active customers of M-Pesa increased by 27.1% to 25.3 million in the year ended 31 March 2016. This increase they say was boosted by market launches in Albania and Ghana and supported by a network of more than 261,000 agents in 11 M-Pesa countries.
“Since 2007, M-Pesa has enhanced the lives and livelihoods of people without bank accounts, giving them access to essential financial services through their mobile phones.’’ Vodafone Group Director of Mobile Money, Michael Joseph said. “I am delighted and proud that M-Pesa has reached the 25 million active customers milestone. M-Pesa continues to expand, evolving beyond traditional money transfers to encompass savings and loans, payment of salaries and benefits, settlement of utility bills and school fees and to enable vital health and agricultural solutions.”
Currently, M-Pesa is available in 11 markets: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mozambique, Egypt, Lesotho, Ghana, Albania and Romania.
Last year, Vodafone M-Pesa added some new features and services to the platform. The company also entered into partnerships with public and private sector organizations. In Lesotho for example, Vodafone has entered into partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to pay welfare grants using M-Pesa. In Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture is now paying fertilizer subsidies using M-Pesa. In India, the National Rural Livelihoods Mission is also using M-Pesa to enable financial inclusion for women’s groups and the National Rural Health Mission is using the service to disburse pre-natal health benefits.
M-Pesa customers in India are also using the service to pay for goods on Ebay, for taxis with TabCab and to book train tickets on India’s national railways. Enterprises including Walmart are using M-Pesa in India to improve cash management and business efficiency.