M-Pesa transactions surpass Western Union moves across the globe

Safaricom has had more transactions using M-Pesa than what its global rival, Western Union, has moved across the world.

“M-Pesa now processes more transactions domestically within Kenya than Western Union does globally, and provides mobile banking facilities to more than 70 per cent of the country’s adult population,” says the International Monetary Fund in its October outlook on the African economy.

M-Pesa, which allows mobile phone subscribers to transmit as little as Sh50 in seconds, was a first in the world and is now being emulated by countries like South Africa, India and Afghanistan which have launched similar money transfer services.

14 million customers

M-Pesa was launched in March 2007 and now boasts of over 14 million customers and about 28,000 agent outlets across the country.

The World Bank has since then picked former Safaricom CEO, Michael Joseph, to help replicate this model in developing countries, as way of fighting poverty and deepening financial services.

In Kenya, the value of M-Pesa transactions since 2007 to March topped Sh828 billion or half of the country’s GDP and last years’ worth of business reached Sh47 billion.


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