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All posts tagged "M-Pesa"

  • M-pesa dethrones Safaricom as Kenya’s leading Superbrand

    M-Pesa, the mobile payment service, has ascended to the throne of Kenya’s leading Superbrand. That's according to a survey released today. M-Pesa dethroned its parent brand and the predecessor, Safaricom to take top spot in the survey, which incorporates the views of both marketing experts and Kenyan consumers. Though Safaricom lost the number one spot to its sub-brand M-pesa, it still performed strongly and managed to finish third. The last survey of this kind was in 2012. M-Pesa was followed by the Kenyan Red Cross Society and Safaricom in the second and third positions respectively. The survey was conducted by London...

  • Kipochi brings Bitcoin to Africa through M-Pesa

    Kipochi just launched its Bitcoin transfer service in Kenya using M-Pesa as its running platform. This service would allow people across Kenya to send and receive funds abroad with extremely low transaction fees using the crypto online currency -- Bitcoin. A few months ago, we heard rumours about Bitcoin ATMs in Africa. Although sounding disruptive, it doesn't really take advantage of Africa's unique market and has been implemented before. According to Quartz, M-Pesa accounts for as much as 31% of Kenya's GDP. This is Kipochi's main focus. The company recently ran a Q&A thread on Reddit which showed much...

  • NFC is the future of African mobile money

    Mobile money has made more of an impact in Africa than a number of other emerging market regions. In fact, through services like Safricom’s M-Pesa, people on the continent have been using their mobile phones for financial transactions since long before Google brought out its wallet. But can emerging markets on the continent, and elsewhere, take mobile money beyond money transfers? This is, after all, how the whole mobile money market emerged with M-Pesa: People buying airtime from agents and using the airtime to pay for bills or send money other people across the country. A number of...

  • Why Kenya’s M-Pesa won’t work anywhere else

    It's the runaway success story: From a standing start just four years ago, over 15-million Kenyans now use the M-Pesa mobile money service to transact. Billions of Kenyan shillings have been moved through the system. It's this success which leads to M-Pesa being held up as a case study of mobile payments in emerging markets (try researching mobile payments without reference to M-Pesa!). It's also made financial services companies and rival operators salivate. True, the growth rates are staggering. There are only 40-million people in Kenya, which illustrates just how many economically active adults in that country use M-Pesa (practically...

  • 4 very different mobile payment services

    Mobile payments may be the next big tech gold rush, depending on who you listen to. For something getting so much hype, and with so many start-ups popping up in the field, it is a surprisingly vague term. There are at least a half dozen different approaches competing to become the de facto format. All of them share one thing: the use of mobile devices – mostly cell phones, but increasingly other devices such as tablets – to exchange money. But that's just about where the similarities end. Here are four different services with four very different routes to...

  • M-Pesa’s rollercoaster ride

    M-Pesa, the world-famous mobile payment system, has effectively become a type of credit card for poor communities in East Africa. The payment system has had unbelievable success in this region and other emerging market regions, prompting interest in it from many sectors in the world. But M-Pesa is much more than a mobile payment system. It's a blueprint for a future mobile-based currency, used by every corner and every community in the world....

  • M-Pesa, Google Wallet & PayPal: How do they stack up?

    Last week Google added to a busy period of big product releases with the launch of Google Offers. The Google Offers launch followed hot on the heels of the launch of Google Wallet. Added to this, PayPal is suing former employees for giving away trade secrets to Google which allegedly fueled the development of Google Wallet. So what exactly is Google Wallet? Google Wallet is a new point-of-sale ecosystem that will allow users to use their smartphone as their wallet. This does however require a smartphone with an NFC (near field communications) chip. Currently three forms of payment are supported by the system...

  • Iraq to bring banks to the masses — by mobile

    When one thinks of Iraq, the last thing on one's mind is innovation in the tech sphere, however that is just what is happening. Following in the footsteps of the very successful M-Pesa of East Africa, Baghdad is hoping to close the gap by getting people to open accounts, make payments and transfer cash -- all via mobile, as only one-fifth of Iraqis have bank accounts, but 70 percent have mobile phones. In...

  • Michael Joseph and Mpesa: A missed opportunity

    Michael Joseph was the CEO of Safaricom, taking the mobile operator from 5 employees to dominating the Kenyan mobile operator market with over 80% market share in his 10 years at the helm. Regardless of your personal feelings on the man, you have to admire the tenacious approach he took growing the business, and his willingness to invest in his company’s future, thereby decimating his (often inept) competition. Possibly MJ’s (how he’s known in local Kenyan parlance) greatest business move was also a measured risk --that is being the company to take a software created by parent Vodafone Group...

  • Will SA’s unbanked masses embrace M-Pesa?

    On paper, the argument for embracing M-Pesa, a mobile-phone based money transfer service, is a compelling one. But implementation needs to be perfect if it is to gain traction with wary South African consumers. Cellular service provider Vodacom, in conjunction with banking giant Nedbank, have finally begun rolling out M-PESA to South African consumers, having seen the critical role it plays in the Kenyan economy, where it is reported that almost 20% of all transactions are done through M-PESA. Days after I interviewed Mark Taylor, MD of Vodacom Payment Services, I received an SMS telling me I had received...

  • Interview: PesaPal’s Agosta Liko on African mobile payment solutions

    Agosta Liko, CEO of PesaPal, relocated to Kenya from the US to start Verviant, a software development company in Nairobi. Three years later, the team at Verviant launched PesaPal with a vision of enabling Kenyans to make online payments. PesaPal is making great strides in bridging the mobile and electronic payment divide in Kenya, and is set to expand to more African countries next year. Mark Kaigwa sat down with the CEO to discuss his perspective on doing business in Kenya, the African condition, and on how PesaPal was able to gain traction with ordinary people. MK: How would...

  • 20 Kenyan web and tech innovations worth watching

    Kenya is abuzz right now. The outlook for technology and innovation in Africa has never been brighter, and Kenya is positioning itself strategically in anticipation of a wave of groundbreaking web and mobile emerging market products and services. The resources being put into the Kenyan IT sector currently demonstrate how seriously the country is taking the challenge to become Africa’s Innovation hub. The Kenyan Government, through its ICT Board,  recently closed the window for proposals for its $4-million grant towards local content and software applications using mobile and/or the web. This was a concerted effort by the government to meet its mandate to make...