Kenya’s Mobile Money Revolution: M-Pesa turns Five

By Leo Mutuku
  Published 01 May 2012
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Safaricom's mobile money phenomenon, M-Pesa, clocked 5 years, early this year on March 6, 2012. These five years have seen M-Pesa grow from humble beginnings as a small unit, when it was started in Kenya by a Safaricom -Vodafone partnership, to a fully fledged department.

To celebrate its five years of existence, Safaricom came up with a campaign dubbed ‘celebrating five years of changing lives’ which has been captured in both interactiveandstatic infographics (HT the Safaricom Limited and Squad Digital teams respectively). This campaign highlights the key milestones that have been marked by M-Pesa over the years including various awards and innovations coming from that end.
A snapshot of M-PESA:
  • The number of MPesa users has risen from 19,671 in 2007 to an astounding 15 million users to date transacting between them over Kshs.1.4 TRILLION .
  • The number of MPesa agents has also risen from 355 in 2008 to over 37,000 agents countrywide.
  • Safaricom reduced the minimum value of MPesa transaction from Kshs. 50 to Kshs. 10 in this first five years of operation to cater for all segments of the population while the maximum value of an MPesa transaction has also risen from Kshs. 35,000 initially to Kshs. 140,000
  • There are 25 banks in the M-PESA network with a coverage of 700+ ATMs where you can withdraw your money from. Further, through Western Union, we can now receive money on M-Pesa from over 70 countries worldwide.
  • Safaricom has been recognized by GSMA as the Best Mobile Transfer Service, by Africom for Innovative Technology and Life Changing Solutions, among many other international acclaims.
  • Kenyans for Kenya successful campaign to raise funds for the 3.5 million drought-stricken people facing starvation in Kenya in 2011 used M-PESA as one of the main platforms to receive donations; over 150 million raised via M-PESA alone.
M-Pesa's success has been attributed severally to the fact that it provides options to many of the country's unbanked to move and receive money in a relatively easy and affordable manner. We congratulate Safaricom for their flagship innovation's 5 years anniversary and wait to see what greater impact M-Pesa will have on our society in the coming years. In case you missed the links, check out these infographics: Celebrating 5 Years of M-Pesaand M-Pesa's Timeline, Celebrating 5 Years of Changing Lives
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