£17bn Transacted Through Mobile Payments in Kenya in 2014

m-pesa africaMobile payments solution M-Pesa saw an estimated £17bn worth of transactions in Kenya in 2014, according to new data from the Central Bank of Kenya.

Between January and November of 2014, KSh2146.2bn (£15.4bn) was moved using the mobile payment solution launched by Vodafone in 2007, with a further KSh221bn estimated to have been spent in December.

The total includes money spent on utilities, rent, school fees and in retail, as well as money sent and received between individuals. As of November 2014, there were 25m mobile payment subscribers in Kenya (equal to almost the entire adult population), with over 121,000 agents where money can be paid in or taken out.

M-Pesa was developed for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania, and has since expanded to other markets in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

M-Pesa is the most successful mobile phone based financial service in the developing world, and has been helping to reduce crime in otherwise largely cash-based economies. Over a quarter of Kenyas gross national product flows through M-Pesa, with its success credited to Safaricoms dominant market position, effective marketing and the difficulty in accessing traditional banks for much of Kenyas rural population.