M-Pesa: contributing to socio-economic development

As well as running communications networks across Africa, we created the M-Pesa mobile money service and launched it with our Kenyan associate, Safaricom, in 2007. M-Pesa is available in eight countries and now has more than 20 million active users who use it to send, receive and store money electronically. It enables people excluded from conventional banking to access a wide range of financial services – from basic purchases and sending money to people at home and abroad, to utility bill payments, receipt of salaries, payments of pensions or benefits and micro-finance loans and savings – simply, safely and securely, via their mobile phone. M-Pesa continues to evolve with new services introduced including M-Tiba, a mobile health wallet, which enables people to save money for medical treatment and benefit from health insurance which now has 2.8 million users.

M-Pesa has had a profoundly transformative effect on lives and livelihoods, providing people in some of the world’s poorest communities with financial security and the ability to start and grow a business. A study has shown that M-Pesa has lifted 2% of Kenyan households out of poverty, helping to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 1. Further details of M-Pesa can be found here.