05 Aug All about M-Pesa the most Successful Mobile Payment System in the World

M-Pesa was started as a project of the CEO of Safaricom with a grant from the Department for International Development in the UK to better serve the unbanked.  It had to work on a feature phone for eg using USSD, not the "smart" smart phone technology of these days. It was developed to help remote workers in urban areas to send money back to their families at home.

This was too costly to do via the banking infrastructure which also didn’t have enough coverage in the rural areas.  So Safaricom converted an SMS loan system they had to be able to send money via SMS and rapidly grew a network of agents into rural areas for on and off ramps.

It soon became apparent that M-Pesa was a catalyst for business activity and wealth creation which further gathered support and spurred on adoption.   

M-Pesa has become a mobile banking service which is used my most of the Kenyan population.  Now it can be used for eCommerce payment by our multinational eCommerce merchants expanding to the African continent.  It is the primary payment method in Kenya with almost 40m users

Africa is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world.  M-Pesa can be used for online purchases. It is an asynchronous method of online payment.  So at the checkout the consumer enters the reference number and amount into her mobile phone to pay.  The merchant receives confirmation of payment. 

M-Pesa is a relatively simple and effective method of payment acceptable by merchants expanding to Africa and looking for the primary online payment method in Kenya.

If you are a multinational wanting to sell to and get paid by African consumers online then a connection to African Payment Solutions collecting PSP will be a step in the right direction for you in terms of eCommerce and mCommerce payment in Africa.