Safaricom’s mobile money platform M-Pesa has reached 50 million monthly active customers in Africa, making it the continent’s largest fintech.
Safaricom launched M-Pesa more than 14 years ago in Kenya, and today the service is also available, Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana, and Egypt.
The milestone comes just 18 months after Safaricom and Vodacom fully acquired the M-PESA brand from Vodafone. By then, M-Pesa had 40 million users and processes over a billion transactions every month. With the acquisition, Vodacom and Safaricom received full control of the M-PESA brand, product development, and support services as well as the opportunity to expand M-PESA into new African markets.
“14 years ago, we launched M-PESA to connect our customers to each other and to different opportunities. We are delighted to celebrate this remarkable milestone with our more than 50 million customers across the continent. As an honour to this achievement, we are reiterating our commitment and deepening our focus on more innovations that will further transform the lives of our customers,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, MD – M-PESA Africa.
In 2007, Safaricom and Vodafone launched M-PESA in Kenya as a way for customers to instantly send money to each other. For many customers, the service became their first and often only access to financial services propelling its fast growth and adoption across the country.
Subsequently, the service has largely contributed to the growth of formal financial inclusion across the continent which has gone up by up to 55%.
Today, M-PESA is a 2-sided network that provides a wide variety of financial services to both businesses and individual customers. Customers can send and receive money, make and receive business payments, pay bills, make and receive international money transfers, save and access credit, all from the convenience of their mobile phones and wherever they may be in the countries served across more than 500,000 agents.
In June 2021, M-PESA began rolling out the M-PESA Super App across all its markets.
The M-PESA Super App introduced one of the service’s key innovations in the form of Mini-Apps which enable customers and businesses to accomplish day-to-day tasks from shopping to accessing government services without having to download different apps for each task.
In addition, the M-PESA Super App provides the more than 50 million customers with a modern, intuitive and secure way to transact on their smartphones.
M-PESA’s second facet focuses on businesses by expanding its ecosystem to deliver innovative solutions across micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses.
These include an open API in use by more than 45,000 developers and 200,000 businesses, the M-PESA for Business Super App, the Transacting Till that enables businesses to go beyond receiving payments to making business payments, and Pochi La Biashara that enables small businesses to separate their personal and business funds. Collectively, more than 500,000 businesses transact more than $7 billion every month on M-PESA.
Into the future, the service has been investing in new technologies and partnerships as it seeks to deepen financial health amongst its customers through products that encourage savings and lending, wealth management, and insurance. M-PESA has equally expanded its partnerships in an aim to boost remittances which empower customers to send and receive money across more than 200 countries and territories.