Over the last 10 years, M-Pesa has put Kenya on the map and driven a lot of global interest in our tech and financial space. Kenyans have cemented M-Pesa’s position as the world’s top mobile platform. We have taken to the service in great numbers due to the convenience it offers in their lives. It also offers customers good control of their money and their transactions.
As a person living in Nairobi and farming back home in the village for example, it requires that I send money home all the time. Sometimes large amounts and sometimes small amounts. I dare not imagine how life would be if it was any difficult to send money home for farm inputs and daily labour. Sometimes someone upcountry just does a small job and wants something as little as 300 bob and it helps that I can send it so easily. Other than sending money home for farming, M-Pesa is very much a day to day part of my life and the lives of millions of other Kenyans. For me and for many other uses judging by the success of M-Pesa, the service provides value.
According to a new KPMG report, customers have by far been the largest financial beneficiaries of the M-Pesa platform. Safaricom earns good money from M-pesa alright but the social value that the product has generated for customers far exceeds the financial benefits to Safaricom. Value to customers in the form of saved time, as well as security in the sense that people do not have to carry cash all the time. The mobile phone also helps in savings in the country, with 60% of Kenyans having their savings in services such as M-Pesa, M-Shwari and KCB M-Pesa.
M-Pesa’s contribution to creation of employment cannot be underestimated either, with the he number of agents having increased from 2,000 in 2007 to more than 101,000 at the end of March 2016. This trend is growing with further growth of M-pesa, with many agents creating entire businesses out of it. M-Pesa has lifted 2% of Kenyan households out of extreme poverty.