Fintech platform M-Pesa has reached 50 million monthly active customers, according to mobile network operator Vodacom.
According to a statement released by the operator, the number of active M-Pesa customers has doubled in the past five years.
The latest 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 said its focus is to be “the largest Fintech and digital ecosystem across the continent.”
Vodacom added that M-Pesa became an even more important platform for customers during the COVID-19 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.
Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group said: “As Africa’s biggest mobile money platform, M-Pesa has been one of the continent’s most astonishing financial services success stories, helping millions of people improve their lives and start businesses though financial inclusion. That said, we are still in the early stages of M-Pesa’s evolution and remain firmly committed to investing significantly into expanding the M-Pesa ecosystem, particularly through our Super App platform, so that we continue to democratise financial services.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Managing Director – M-Pesa Africa, added: “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.”
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.
In Kenya, access to financial services and products has increased by around 56% between 2006-2019 driven by the availability of mobile money. M-Pesa has also been credited with lifting roughly 2% of Kenyan households out of extreme poverty.
In June 2021, the M-Pesa Super App was launched across all its markets. The M-Pesa Super App introduced one the service’s key innovations in the form of mini mobile 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 and the platform intends to roll out 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 US$7-billion (€5.8 billion) every month on M-Pesa, according to Vodacom.
M-Pesa is available in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.