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M-Pesa transfers more Kenyan money that Western Union

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Thursday, November 24, 2011

Listen carefully and you can hear champagne corks flying as mobile payments company M-Pesa confirms a huge milestone in Kenya… transferring over $1 billion dollars in a single month. They reckon that this is more than the incumbent company, Western Union, manage in the same period.

This growth, which has been achieved in around four and a half years is one of the success stories of not just mobile money, but in a connected internet service as well. While M-Pesa has some big backers, it’s still had to go in and start the service, promote it, manage the growth, and continue to innovate and work to maintain its lead in the marketplace. Congratulations all round to one of the poster-children of the new payment industry.

The question now is where M-Pesa will grow. There are still huge opportunities in their home markets, where only one in three mobile phone users has a bank account, Given that mobile penetration is on the order of 40%, but growing, there are a lot of users and transactions for M-Pesa to work on winning over the next four and a half years.

We’ll continue to watch their progress.