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M-PESA turns 15, processes more than 61 million transactions a day


Safaricom’s mobile money platform M-Pesa turns 15 today. The service which has been ranked as Africa’s largest fintech processes more than 61 million transactions a day with a customer base of more than 51 million. 

M-Pesa also boasts 465,000 businesses, 600,000 agents and 42,000 developers across Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.

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.

With more people across the continent shifting to smartphones, 3G and 4G broadband, M-PESA is today evolving to become a digital financial services provider.

“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,” says Peter Ndegwa, CEO – Safaricom.

”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, ” he adds.

M-PESA Super App

In 2021, M-PESA Africa launched the M-PESA Super App and an M-PESA Business Super App bringing front-end insights on customer spending, direct access to statements, and much more into one single app.

The app also enables any business on the service to run a virtual store front providing their services virtually through M-PESA Mini Apps.

The M-PESA Super App is designed to be a customer’s lifestyle companion connecting them to services they need in a typical day including shopping, restaurants and food delivery, transport services, government services and much more. More than 9 million customers and 320,000 businesses have downloaded the M-PESA Super App since its launch. 

The app went ahead to win a prestigious Global Mobile Award (GLOMO) at the 2022 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Super App won under the category for “Best Mobile Innovation for Connected Living” edging out other nominations from across the globe. It was recognised for its innovative transformation of customers’ experience when using M-PESA and for the Mini-Apps feature which empower any business to provide services through a digital shop on the app.

“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,” says Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, MD – M-PESA Africa.

In addition to the Super App, M-PESA Africa has announced that it is revamping the M-PESA platform to support additional digital services, faster development of new products, and to achieve increased stability and reliability. The platform revamp includes expansion of the M-PESA APIs to provide developers with even deeper access to the service enabling them to deploy more innovations on the service.

As part of the 15 year celebrations, Safaricom says it will reward 15 customers and 15 businesses every hour for 15 days from March 7th 2022 to March 22nd 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 KSh. 1,000.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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