M-Pesa, Vodafone’s mobile financial services, has reached 50 million monthly active customers, cementing its position as Africa’s largest fintech platform.
The mobile money service, which was launched more than 14 years ago in Kenya, M-Pesa is available in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, as well as in Egypt and Ghana as Vodafone Cash.
The number of active M-Pesa customers has doubled in the past five years. The milestone also comes just 18 months after Safaricom and Vodacom launched the M-Pesa Africa joint venture to accelerate growth of the service across the continent. M-Pesa Africa has been delivering digital platforms as part of its focus to be the largest fintech and digital ecosystem across the continent.
M-Pesa became an even more important platform for customers during the pandemic with transaction volumes increasing 44% year-on-year in the first quarter of the current financial year. The number of transactions grew to 4.5 billion in the quarter – with a total transaction value of €63 billion.
Commenting on this milestone, Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Vodafone Ghana, said:
‘We are excited because this milestone affirms that we are impacting more lives and businesses whilst liberalising the mobile money platform to embrace all. In Ghana we have also seen a seismic shift in the sheer volume and frequency of monetary movement across networks as a result of our complete removal of transaction charges on money transferred to any network via Vodafone Cash. This bold step has broadly expanded digital financial inclusion and brought immense financial and economic relief to our individual consumers as well as business clients.
Vodafone Cash is known for its secure mobile money platform and leadership in innovative financial products. Vodafone Cash continues to emphasize its commitment to playing an integral role in the country becoming a cash-lite society through its numerous Vodafone Cash interventions.
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.
Consequently, the service has largely contributed to the growth of formal financial inclusion across the continent. In Kenya, access to financial services and products has increased by around 56% between 2006-2019 driven by the availability of mobile money1. M-Pesa has also been credited with lifting roughly 2% of Kenyan households out of extreme poverty 2.
Today M-Pesa is a two-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, utilising more than 500,000 M-Pesa agents.
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.