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Helping business thrive in emerging markets

In emerging markets, where many consumers have access to mobile devices but no access to a bank account, enterprises are using our mobile payment solution mPesa to conduct business, pay staff salaries and expenses or to take cash out of the distribution chain.

mPesa allows businesses to collect payments and disburse funds within complex consumer, supplier, retailer and government value chains. In many markets organisations use it to remotely receive payments such as utility bills, TV entertainment or telecoms subscriptions, or regular financial transactions such as health insurance or loan repayments. Customers make payments through their phones from their mPesa account, which in turn can be linked to their bank account.

As well as streamlining benefit, pension, salary and expenses payments, mPesa also allows consumers to transact face-to-face with approved merchant retailers, saving time for the customer and cash handling costs for the business. It is also improving people’s lives in areas as diverse as healthcare, agriculture, education, finance and alternative energy. In Kenya, almost a quarter of the population now use it.

How it works

Customers register mPesa at an authorised agent - often a small mobile phone store or retailer - and then deposit cash in exchange for electronic money which they can send to their family or friends. Once they have registered, all transactions are completed securely by entering a PIN number and both parties receive an SMS confirming the amount that has been transferred. The recipient, who does not have to use the same network, receives the electronic money in real-time and then redeems it for cash by visiting another agent.

Pesa is the Swahili word for money with mPesa first launched in Kenya in 2007. The service is now available in ten countries including Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, plus outside of Africa in Fiji, India and Romania.

In Afghanistan, where the service is branded M-Paisa, we have introduced an interactive, voice-response service for customers who are unable to read and write.

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Helping consumers and businesses together

As a B2C service, mPesa enables organizations to receive funds remotely from their customers or subscribers for goods and services rendered. Businesses are able to view transactions through an online window, together with digital record-keeping. Meanwhile, in the B2B arena, mPesa’s bulk payment services enable organisations to conveniently transact with their partners.

Saving money and reducing risk

By using mPesa to process payments, retailers can save transaction and insurance costs and have greater security and more time to serve customers versus using manual cash based payment

Taking cash out of the distribution chain

By accepting mPesa as the payment method of choice, distributors are able to save time and be more efficient by eliminating manual cash processes in the physical delivery of goods and services to retailers and partners. It also reduces theft and security risks for drivers who would otherwise be carrying cash.

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