As Vodafone marks the 10th anniversary of M-Pesa, the world’s leading mobile money service, it has been revealed that a record 614 million M-Pesa transactions were processed during December 2016.
Vodafone now offers M-Pesa services in 10 countries: India, Albania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Romania and Tanzania.
As of the end of December 2016, M-Pesa served almost 29.5 million active customers through a network of more than 287,400 agents.
During 2016, the service processed around 6 billion transactions, peaking in December 2016 at 529 transactions every second.
M-Pesa was launched by Vodafone’s Kenyan associate, Safaricom, on 6 March 2007.
The service is designed to enable customers safely and securely to send, receive and store money via a basic mobile phone and, more recently in some markets, using a smartphone app.
Customers can visit an M-Pesa agent to top up their M-Pesa account and can use their mobile phone to make purchases in shops and send money to other people who can then visit their nearest M-Pesa agent to withdraw their funds.
M-Pesa also reduces significantly the potential risks of street robbery, burglary and petty corruption within cash-based economies where only a small proportion of the population benefit from access to conventional financial services.
On the occasion, Michael Joseph, managing director of M-Pesa, said: “M-Pesa is a revolution that has empowered tens of millions of people in some of the poorest communities in the world to start and grow businesses and gain greater financial resilience. All of us at Vodafone are very proud of how M-Pesa has enhanced our customers’ daily lives and helped them plan for the future with confidence.”