M-Pesa is a mobile banking service that allows users to store and transfer money through their mobile phones. M-Pesa was originally introduced in Kenya as an alternative way for the unbanked population of the country to have access to financial services. Safaricom, the largest mobile phone operator in Kenya as of 2016, launched M-Pesa in 2007.
M-Pesa is a transformative mobile banking service launched by Vodafone for Safaricom in 2007. It lets people make small amount transactions using SMS technology without having to create bank accounts or having to physically carry cash. As a result, those who had been previously excluded from formal financial activities (i.e. saving money, sending money) can actively participate in financial industry.
M stands for mobile and PESA for a Swahili word for money. M-Pesa is sponsored by Vodafone.
Kenya (main market), Tanzania, DRC, Mozambique, India, Romania (since 2014) and Albania (since 2015).
– Withdrawing USD 10 from M-Pesa Agent costs USD 0.27;
– Withdrawing USD 10 from an ATM costs USD 0.33
– Transfering USD 10 to other M-Pesa users costs USD 0.25;
– Transfering USD 10 to unregistered users costs USD 0.58;
(as of July 2016 USD 1 is 101.5 KES)
M-Pesa works to advance financial inclusion in undeserved communities which allows better financial opportunities to deal with risks such as disease, famine), food and health emergencies, among others.
Individuals excluded from banking services.
In 2015 Vodafone has entered into a deal with MTN that will see their respective mobile money customers transfer money to each other across the seven Eastern African countries. The agreement now enables convenient sending of cash between M-Pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania, DRC Congo and Mozambique, and MTN Mobile Money customers in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.
Closed-source software. M-Pesa is trade marked.
– Step 1: Replace Your Old Safaricom SIM Card.
– Step 2: Register as New M-PESA Customer.
– Step 3: Activate Your M-PESA Account with the Start Key.
The channels to register for M-Pesa are:
– M-Pesa Mobile App
– M-Pesa Call Centre
– M-Pesa Agent Outlet
Note: To register or transact at any M-PESA Agent outlet, you will be required to produce your original identification document, i.e., National ID, Passport, Military ID, Diplomatic ID or Alien ID/Foreigner Certificate.
– M-PESA charges will depend on the amount you are sending or withdrawing. Fees available online
– You can use your M-PESA menu to buy airtime for your phone, or for someone else. This service is free and you will only pay for the airtime purchased.
19.95 million subscribers as of 2014.
Connectivity requirement for the product/service to work (Mobile Internet, SMS, Voice, Other)
Device(s) type required for the product/service to work (Smartphone ,Feature phone, Computer, Tablet, Other [specify])
Other technology required for the service/product to work (Bluethooth, Wifi, camera, IVR, GPS, Accelerometers/Motion sensors, physiologic biosensors, biometric identifiers, SIM, Memory card (e.g microSD), other [specify])
Can the product/service work offline? If yes, specify
Is the product/service able to receive and send back information to the user?
Usage rate for the app/voice-SMS service vs number of downloads. How many people are actually using this product?
If yes, specify
Mobile data coverage required for the product/service to workDisplay order
Operating System required and Software version (Android, IOs, Windows, or other [specify])
Financial service offered with the app/ICT service
– Maximum Account Balance is KSh 100,000
– Maximum Daily Transaction Value is KSh 140,000.Maximum per transaction is KSh 70,000
– You cannot withdraw less than KSh 50 at an M-PESA agent outlet
– To transact, your Safaricom line and M-PESA account must be active
– At an agent outlet, you cannot deposit money directly into another M-PESA customer’s account
– You earn Bonga points when you transact on M-PESA.
Schematics of M-Pesa: Once you are registered for the service, you can visit local M-Pesa agents. Once you deposit cash, you’ll get cyber money called “e-float” in exchange. Then using SMS technology, you can exchange that “e-float” with another M-PESA subscriber. Or you can retrieve cash from the agent in exchange of “e-float” you have in your M-PESA account.
Technical support provided by Vodafone, via email or call centers.
Versioning cycle unknown.
Nathan Eagle, txteagle: Mobile Crowdsourcing. MIT Media Laboratory.
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