M-PESA has today announced that it has reached 50 million monthly active customers. This makes the service the most popular mobile platform in the continent and Africa’s largest fintech. First launched in 2007 in Kenya, M-PESA has since been made available in Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt, with the majority of users being in Kenya.
The milestone 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 equally been striving to deliver digital platforms as part of its focus to be the largest fintech and digital ecosystem across the continent.
“14 years ago, we launched M-PESA to connect our customers to each other and to different opportunities. We are delighted to celebrate this remarkable milestone with our more than 50 million customers across the continent. As an honour to this achievement, we are reiterating our commitment and deepening our focus on more innovations that will further transform the lives of our customers,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, MD – M-PESA Africa.
Safaricom says the service has largely contributed to the growth of formal financial inclusion across the continent which has gone up by up to 55%. The current form of M-PESA is a 2-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 their mobile phones. Safaricom says they have more than 500,000 agents in the countries served.
The M-PESA Super App, rolled out in June 2021, introduced one of the service’s key innovations in the form of Mini-Apps which enable customers and businesses to accomplish day-to-day tasks from shopping to accessing government services without having to download different apps for each task. In addition, the M-PESA Super App provides the more than 50 million customers with a modern, intuitive and secure way to transact on their smartphones.
M-PESA’s second facet focuses on businesses by expanding its ecosystem to deliver innovative solutions across micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses. These include an open API in use by more than 45,000 developers and 200,000 businesses, the M-PESA for Business Super App, the Transacting Till that enables businesses to go beyond receiving payments to making business payments, and Pochi La Biashara that enables small businesses to separate their personal and business funds. Collectively, more than 500,000 businesses transact more than $7 billion every month on M-PESA.