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African Fintech Firm, M-Pesa Hits 50m Monthly Active Customers

M-Pesa has reached 50 million monthly active customers, cementing its position as Africa’s largest fintech platform.

Launched more than 14 years ago in Kenya, M-Pesa is today available in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.

The number of active M-Pesa customers has doubled in the past five years. The 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 has been delivering digital platforms as part of its focus to be the largest fintech and digital ecosystem across the continent.

M-Pesa became an even more important platform for customers during the pandemic with transaction volumes increasing 44% year-on-year in the first quarter of the current financial year.

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The number of transactions grew to 4.5 billion in the quarter – with a total transaction value of €63 billion.

Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, said: “M-Pesa has helped millions of people to access financial services for the first time and millions more to improve their lives, start businesses and gain control of their finances. We are still in the early stages of M-Pesa’s development and will continue to invest to capture this significant opportunity – building value for shareholders.”

“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, Managing Director – M-Pesa Africa.

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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.

Consequently, the service has largely contributed to the growth of formal financial inclusion across the continent.

In Kenya, access to financial services and products has increased by around 56% between 2006-2019 driven by the availability of mobile money. The fintech startup has also been credited with lifting roughly 2% of Kenyan households out of extreme poverty.

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