After 10 years of progression in the mobile money service, Vodafone finally marked the 10th anniversary of M-Pesa as the world’s leading service on February 21.
According to Tech Moran, it was revealed that a record 614 million M-Pesa transactions were processed during December 2016 as it now offers M-Pesa services in 10 countries. As of the end of December 2016, M-Pesa served almost 29.5 million active customers through a network of more than 287,400 agents. During 2016, the service processed around 6 billion transactions, peaking in December 2016 at 529 transactions every second.
M-Pesa, launched by Vodafone’s Kenyan associate, Safaricom, on 6 March 2007 is designed to enable customers safely and securely to send, receive and store money via a basic mobile phone and, more recently in some markets, using a smartphone app.
Over the last decade, M-Pesa has evolved far beyond its roots in person-to-person transfers. The service now plays an important role in the broader economies of several countries and is used for a wide variety of essential transactions including the payment of household bills and salaries, the distribution of pension payments and the disbursement of agricultural subsidies and government grants.
According to a recent study conducted by MIT and published in the journal Science, M-Pesa has had a dramatic impact on the overall economy in Kenya – lifting some households above the poverty line and particularly benefiting families headed by women. In one notable example, poverty fell 22% within a kilometre of where six M-Pesa agents opened between 2008 and 2010.