Cash-minting tech juggernaut: The rise and rise of M-Pesa

Cash-minting tech juggernaut: The rise and rise of M-Pesa

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard] One of the biggest fears by motorists in Nairobi is that of M-Pesa services being disrupted while they are at a petrol station, waiting to fuel their cars.

With many of them not carrying cash, they might end up spending the night in long queues that stretch from the petrol station to the main road, waiting for the resumption of M-Pesa, a disruptive mobile money service owned by Safaricom.

M-Pesa is quickly turning into the lifeblood of Kenya’s economy, with a wide range of transactions – from paying for a visa to South Africa to buying pampers for the baby – relying on the service. READ MORE

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The latest financial data released by Safaricom shows that the value of transactions on M-Pesa grew by 51.5 per cent to Sh13.7 trillion in the six months to September 2021.

This is about 13 per cent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), or total output in 2020. The figure will certainly be much bigger at the end of Safaricom’s reporting period in March next year.

Safaricom Chief Executive Peter Ndegwa said M-Pesa now accounts for close to two-fifths of the telco’s service revenue, accruing from digital financial services to individual and enterprise customers.

“Innovation in digital financial services has been a key growth driver for M-Pesa,” said Mr Ndegwa when the listed firm and East and Central Africa’s most profitable company released its results on November 10.

Last year, Ndegwa said they were broadening their financial services portfolio, “evolving M-Pesa into a broader financial platform that becomes a lifestyle choice, especially for our SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and MSMEs (micro-small and medium enterprises) with products around wealth management, savings, insurance and credit products among other propositions.”

As a result of these innovations, M-Pesa has overtaken voice as Safaricom’s largest revenue earner, contributing close to 40 per cent of the service revenue .

Contribution by voice, once Safaricom’s major earner, was at 34.2 per cent of the service revenue.One of the biggest M-Pesa innovations has been around payments and betting, where the value of transactions increased by 74.1 per cent in the six months to September to Sh4.4 trillion.In the same period last year, the value of payments and betting was Sh2.54 trillion.The biggest jump in the M-Pesa ecosystem’s payments channels was recorded on the customer to business (C2B) segment, which […]

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