Africa’s largest fintech platform has been celebrating a major milestone with the news that M-Pesa has reached 50 million monthly active customers, cementing its position as Africa’s largest fintech platform.
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 their only – access to financial services. M-Pesa is today available in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.
The service has done much to contribute to the growth of formal financial inclusion across the continent. Today customers can send and receive money, make and receive business payments, pay bills, make and receive international money transfers, and save and access credit, all from the convenience of their mobile phones, wherever they may be in the countries served, utilising more than 500,000 M-Pesa agents.
Specially designed apps, for both consumers and businesses, services helping companies to make business payments, and systems for enabling small businesses to separate their personal and business funds have further boosted the reach of M-Pesa.
M-Pesa has also been investing in new technologies and partnerships, including products that encourage savings and lending, wealth management and insurance. And of course M-Pesa has expanded its partnerships in an effort to boost its share of the massive remittance business.
Despite this success, at a time when the potential of mobile finance is attracting numerous well-supported start-ups and big established names to the African market, M-Pesa can hardly stand still. On the other hand, few other similar services can match its brand recognition.