We are committed to supporting financial inclusion through our products and services.
Financial inclusion is key to reducing extreme poverty. Nevertheless, approximately 1.7 billion people in the world still have no access to banking facilities, an issue that affects significantly more women than men.
In 2007, together with our Kenyan associate, Safaricom, we developed the first mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa. This provides financial services to millions of people who have a mobile phone but limited access to a bank account.
We are aware that a cash-based society has many interent problems. From safety and skimming (falsely registered workers) to the inability to get money to people who need it. Especially when they have no possibility of getting a loan to start or improve a business, accessing health or other kinds of insurance.
Finding ways to improve access to financial services and support entrepreneurship will bring significant social benefits and economic opportunities.
As of the end of March 2023, 58.5 million customers were using Vodafone’s financial inclusion services, which also includes 2.2 million in South Africa.
In April 2020, Vodacom and Safaricom completed the acquisition of the M-PESA brand and the product development team from Vodafone Group through M-PESA Africa, a newly created joint venture.
The joint venture will help consolidate M-PESA as the largest FinTech company in Africa and accelerate the growth of M-PESA across the continent.
Over 26 billion transactions were made in the year using M-Pesa, the equivalent of almost three million per hour on average through a network of more than 773,400 agents. As of the end of March 2023, 58.5 million customers were using Vodafone’s financial inclusion services.
This year we published new research in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (‘UNDP’) that showed mobile financial services can have a direct, positive impact on developing economies with a one percentage point higher GDP than in markets with no mobile money platforms.
In Kenya, only one in five of the population has some form of financial protection from healthcare costs*.
Safaricom’s M-TIBA is a service that allows anyone to send, save and spend funds specifically for medical treatment using their mobile phone. Money stored in M-TIBA can only be used to pay for treatment and medication at M-TIBA-registered clinics and hospitals.
M-TIBA is helping streamline the management of large-scale health financing schemes from insurers, the government and donors and is helping to make healthcare more accessible. There are now more than four million users of M-TIBA. Since launching in 2016, partners using the service have processed over 330,000 healthcare visits and have paid out over €5 million in medical costs.
As mobile penetration in Kenya is above 95%, M-TIBA is emerging as a secure and scalable platform to roll out essential health finance products.
*Kenya Utilisation Survey, 2014
Our strategy in action
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Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Vodafone provides women with access to life-enhancing services which help to unlock socio-economic opportunities and help to address inequality. We also champion the inclusion of women in the workplace.
Vodafone is committed to helping people develop their skills in order to address the mismatch between future workplace needs and the current skills of the new generation.
Vodafone is committed to continuing to make significant investments in the network infrastructure, coverage and quality, allowing individuals and businesses to connect confidently anywhere and at any time.