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Safaricom M-Pesa History, Services And Awards.-techrunda.


M-Pesa History Services and awards

M-Pesa is Africa's largest mobile money transfer service, started in Kenya in 2007 and already available in a number of countries across Africa and outside Africa.

After completion of a piloting program started by Vodafone between the year 2005 and 2006, Vodafone officially launched the M-Pesa service on 6th March 2007 in partnership with Safaricom, Kenya's leading telecommunications provider.

Launched at a time that many Kenyans especially those from rural areas could not access conventional banking services, M-Pesa quickly gained popularity both in urban and rural areas, and on 30th March 2008, M-Pesa signed it's 2 millionth customer, less than a year since it's inception.

By 30th June the same year, M-Pesa attained a customer base of 3 million active mobile users, and by 1st September 2008, M-Pesa users increased by more than 1 million in less than 4 months, with 4,143,043 active mobile registered users.

M-Pesa History.

  • March 2017, M-Pesa officially takes off.
  • 11th Feb. 2008-14th Feb. 2008: Safaricom's "Send  Money Home" campaign won Best Broadcast Commercial award at the 13th Annual GSMA Global mobile Awards in Barcelona Spain . It also won another award for best use of mobile for social and economic Development.
  • In 18th March 2008, Safaricom partnered with Housing Finance to offer M-Pesa Services from Housing Finance Outlets all over the country.
  • 30th March 2008. M-Pesa signed up it's 2 millionth customer. The service had become porpular in both urban and rural areas.
  • 7th May 2008.- Safaricom signed an agreement with Chevron Kenya Ltd to allow M-Pesa customers access it's services at all Caltex service stations countrywide.
  • 30th June 208. M-Pesa attained a customer base of 3 million customers. The service had now become an income earners and economic facilitator in both rural and urban areas.
  • 14th June 2008. Safaricom and Pesapoint entered into a partnership to allow M-Pesa users withdraw money from Pesapoint ATMs directly on their Safaricom lines.
  • Between July 2008 and 6th August 2008, Safaricom signed an agreement with PostaBank to allow customers to access M-Pesa services at all PostBank branches.
  • 1st September 2008, M-Pesa subscribers increase by more than 1 million active users in less than 4 months. 4,143,043 active mobile M-Pesa users.
  • 15th October 2008, Safaricom signed a deal with Old Mutual Kenya to facilitate investments in unit trust (Money markets, Equity funds, balanced funds) and payment of premiums for life insurance products.
  • 1st December 2008: Safaricom and Western Union signed an agreement that allowed M-Pesa's 5 million customers to receive money from the UK.
  • 30th April 2009. Safaricom partnered with Kenya Power (then known as KPLC) o allow customers to pay their electricity bills via M-Pesa.
  • 6th  May 2009, Safaricom partnered with Kenya Commercial Bank(KCB) to facilitate agent to agent transactions that improved M-Pesa uage for both agents and customers.
  • 1st January 2010, Deposit value of Ksh. 25,270,000,000 Billion, Withdrawals of Ksh. 23,034,000,000 Billion, Transfers if Ksh. 23,986,000,000 Billion. Other values amounted to Ksh. 712,000,000 Million. Airtime value of Ksh. 1,414,000,000 Billion.
  • 18th May 2010. Safaricom and Equity Bank partnered to bring customers bank accounts into their pockets with the offering of a new banking system that allows the customer to manage their bank accounts via Mobile. This is the only M-Pesa related product that never really picked up well due to differences in ideological methodologies between the partners.
  • 30th June 2010: M-Pesa subscribers stand at 10,232,805 active mobile users. Approximately a third of the Kenyan population.
  • 1st December 2010, Safaricom Shareholders allowed them to receive their dividend payments through M-Pesa.
  • 31st December 2010, M-Pesa customers were now allowed to book and pay for their tickets to concerts, events, Gallas and even sport activities right on their mobile phone courtesy of a new service called M-ticketing.
  • 1st February 2011- M-Pesa Deposits of Ksh. 39,565,000,000 Billion, Withdrawals of Ksh. 35,990,000,000 Billion, Transfers of Ksh. 41,351,000,000 Billion. Other values amounted to Ksh. 3,721,000,000 Billion and Airtime value of Ksh. 1,235,000,000 Billion.
  • 8th February 2011, Safaricom partnered with I&M Bank to give M-Pesa customers to transfer money from their M-Pesa accounts into an international Visa Pre-paid card known as the M-Pesa prepay Safari Card.
  • 6th March 2011 M-Pesa celebrates it's 4th anniversary with it's 13,798,695 active mobile users.
  • 31st March 2011, M-Pesa goes Global when Safaricom and Western Union signed an agreement that allowed M-Pesa's 13.5 million customers to receive international money transfers from 45 countries and territories including the US, Canada, Italy and the UK.
  • 27th July 2011, Safaricom foundation and KCB foundation formed a  coalition of corporate Kenya and Media in launching a massive fund-raising efforts aimed at reversing the suffering of an estimated 3.5 million Kenyans faced with starvation.
  • 1st April 3012: 15,000,000 Million active M-Pesa users.
  • 27th November 2012; Launch of M-shwari.
  • 1st March 2013: M-Pesa had 17,000,000 Million active M-Pesa users.
  • 24th June 2013, Safaricom launches Lipa Na M-Pesa, a service that allows consumers to pay for goods and services using M-PESA.
  • 1st February 2014, M-shwari had disbursed over Ksh. 7.8 billion in loans and more than Ksh. 24 billion deposits in M-shwari since Launch.
  • 1st April 2014, Safaricom, CBA and multichoice partner to enable customers purchase GoTV recorders through Mshwari credits.
  • 3rd June 2014, M-shwari lock savings is introduced. 
  • 1st August 2014; Safaricom reviews M-Pesa tariffs and reduces person to person transfer fees in the most popular low and medium bands (Ksh.10 to Ksh. 1500) upto 67%.
  • 1st November 2014, MoneyGram partner with M-Pesa to enable customers in over 90 countries to send money directly to M-Pesa customers.
  • 1st December 2014, Safaricom begins an incentive campaign that rewards customers with airtime every time they pay for fuel with Lipa Na M-Pesa.
  • 10th March 2015, M-Pesa and Vodacom Tanzania partner to allow M-Pesa users send and receive money to and from Tanzania.
  • 24th March 2015, Safaricom and KCB launch a mobile savings and loan product known as KCB-Mpesa.
  • 6th October 2015, Safaricom introduce Hakikisha, a service that allows M-Pesa users to confirm the name of the recipient before sending funds in order to reduce incidents of wrong money transfers.
  • 15th December 2015, Safaricom launches Lipa Na M-Pesa Shinda Nyumba Promotion. All M-Pesa users and merchants countrywide stand a chance to win one of the three three-bedroomed houses, airtime or cash each time they use Lipa Na M-Pesa.
  • 22nd December 2015, Safaricom Launches M-tiba, a mobile centric platform that seeks to provide better coordination of health care services between payers, patients and providers

M-Pesa Services.

M-Pesa allows it's users carry out a number of financial services, most of which have been introduced over time and in partnership with other various stakeholders. The Key M-Pesa services include:
Deposit and Withdraw mobile money.
M-Pesa allows it's users deposit money in to their e-wallets and any time and also withdraw the same any time they want to.

How does M-Pesa work?

 M-Pesa allows registered  users carry out a number of financial services including:

  • Deposit money into their M-Pesa virtual wallets.
  • Withdraw money from their virtual wallets.
  • Send and receive money to and from other M-Pesa users.
  • Pay for various goods and services through Lipa Na M-Pesa.
  • Save and borrow money from services like Mshwari and KCB M-Pesa.
  • Send and withdraw money to and from their bank accounts
  • Buy airtime without the need or recharge cards.
In order to allow all these services, M-Pesa users what is known as an agency service, where by various retailers and stand alone agents act as M-Pesa banking agents. These agents are registered business operators who must also be registered by Safaricom as their M-Pesa agents and given necessary tools to carry out their services effectively. The agents can register new M-Pesa customers, deposit cash to Mpesa wallets as well as allow M-pesa users withdraw their cash from the virtual wallets. In return they are paid some commission as per the volume of their services offered.
In order to enjoy M-Pesa services, one has to first buy a Safaricom Sim card and register as a Safaricom subscriber.
Then visit any M-Pesa agent or Safaricom center if customer desk with a valid identification document either a Kenya National Identity (ID) card, a valid Kenyan Passport, Valid foreign Passport, Kenya military ID or a Kenya Foreign certificate.
After successfully completing the registration process which usually takes some few minutes, the customer received an M-Pesa menu on their phone as shown below:
M-Pesa History Services and awards

To deposit cash into your Mpesa account:

  • Visit an authorized M-pesa agent with your phone and a valid ID. Agents can be easily identified due to their characteristic painting and display of Mpesa agent sign.
  • Inform the agent how much amount you want to deposit.
  • Present the cash to the agent.
  • The agent will inturn deposit money into your e-wallent which is an exact equivalence of the cash you gave them.
  • Both you and the agent will receive a confirmation SMS from M-Pesa confirming the transaction.
  • You can also deposit your M-Pesa account directly from your bank account.
N/B: while depositing cash to your Mpesa account at an agent is free, doing the same from a bank account always attracts a small fee, as banks consider this a withdrawal just like you would do when you visit your bank branch or an ATM machine.
To withdraw cash from your Mpesa account:
  • Go to an M-Pesa agent.
  • Cindy from the agent if they have sufficient funds for your transaction.
  • Present your original valid identification card.
  • Go to your M-Pesa menu under Safaricom in your SIM toolkit.
  • Enter the agent number, the amount you want to withdraw followed by your M-Pesa pin.
  • Confirm the details of your transaction then press OK.
  • You and your agent will receive an SMS confirming the transaction.
  • Collect your cash from the agent.
N/B. Mpesa users can also withdraw their cash from various bank ATMs by following some simple steps.
All Mpesa withdrawals are charged based on the amount withdrawned.

Lipa Na M-Pesa.

First introduced on 24th June 2013, Lipa Na M-Pesa allows Mpesa users pay for their goods and services at various retail outlets directly from their M-Pesa menu without the need to first withdraw the cash from an agent.
The services has become a widely accepted mode of payments especially in supermarket or when paying for various services like car fuelling, paying for subscription services like Startimes and DSTV as well as paying for electric and water bills at the comfort of one's house or office without the need of having to visit the premises of the service provider.
In order to porpularise the service Safaricom has carried a number of campaigns, including the LIPA NA M-PESA SHINDA NYUMBA PROMOTION carried out December 2015. The promotion allowed M-Pesa customers and merchants all over the country stand a chance to win three three bedroomed houses, airtime and cash in a Sh.118 million promotion.
On 7th March 2017, Safaricom cut Lipa Na M-Pesa tariffs by half for all buy goods merchant fees. Under the new tariffs, merchants we charged a maximum 0.5% of the transaction amount down from 1%.
On 10th November 2018, Safaricom deployed faster and more private cashless payments at over 2,500 Lipa Na M-Pesa merchants . The move benefited users with faster transactions and increased privacy by eliminating the need to show transaction confirmation messages to merchants every time they used the Lipa Na M-Pesa service.


Launched on 27th November 2012, this became one of the most revolutionary M-Pesa product, that took the partnership between the mobile money brand and mainstream banks to the next level.
Mshwari is actually a bank account offered by CBA bank, that is exclusively available for M-Pesa users.
The opening of an Mshwari account is quite simply and takes only a few minutes, and allows users to deposit, withdraw and borrow loans based on their financial history.
Savings attract an interest, and any loan borrowed attracts a 7.5% facilitation fee repayable within 30 days.
Just Like M-Pesa itself, Mshwari got a good uptake and by 1st February 2014, Mshwari had already distributed over Ksh. 7.8 billion disbursed in loans and more than Ksh. 24 billion deposits since launch.
On 3rd June 2014, Mshwari lock savings was introduced. This is a savings account that allows M-shwari customers to save for a defined purpose, for a specified amount and within a specified period.

Fuliza Mpesa.

Fuliza is an overdraft facility devoped in partnership with Safaricom, NCBA group and KCB group.
The service allows M-Pesa users complete their transactions when they have insufficient funds, then later settle the amount.
The idea was born out of an observation that more than half of M-Pesa transactions failed due to insufficient funds on the M-Pesa wallet.
Fuliza can be accessed through the USSD code *234#, where new customers can register for the service, check their Fuliza limit and access other services related to the facility.
M-Pesa subscribers can use Fuliza to send money, pay for services or buy goods on the Lipa Na M-Pesa platform.
The major critic that this Fuliza have faced since it's inception is the huge interest that it attracts, since it is charged per day, and not monthly like the Mshwari Loans.
Despite this, Fuliza got a huge uptake since it's launch in January 2019. By June of the same year customers had borrowed Ksh.81 billion just in six months.

M-Pesa Global.

M-Pesa Global allows millions of M-Pesa customers send and receive money globally directly on the platform. This has greatly made it easier for Kenyans in diaspora to send money back home, as well as those making money online easily withdraw their earnings.
In order to facilitate this global initiative, Mpesa has partnered with a number of mobile money service providers as well as international money transfer service providers worldwide.
In December 2008, Safaricom and Western Union signed an agreement that allowed M-Pesa's 5 million customers to receive money from the UK. On 31st March 2011, the two signed another agreement that took Mpesa Global, allowing Mpesa customers to receive international money transfers from 45 countries and territories including the US, Canada, Italy and the UK.
In November 2014, M-Pesa interested into a partnership with MoneyGram to enable customers in over 90 countries to send money directly to M-Pesa customers.
Come March 2015, Safaricom and Vodafone Tanzania partnered to allow their customers to send and receive money between the two countries.
By December 2016, customers were able to carry inbound and outbound money transfer across East Africa in partnership with MTN and Vodacom.
On 1st April 2018 Safaricom enabled transfer of funds between PayPal and M-Pesa. This was seen as a huge boost to international e-commerce.
In 1st November 2008, Mpesa Global was officially launched, and M-Pesa customers were now able to send and receive money globally, and anyone in the world could now send money to any M-Pesa account in Kenya.
Some of the key partnerst have allowed Mpesa to have the Global outlook include mHits, Post Finance, Skrill, SkyForce, Western Union, WorldRemit, XendPay, Xpress Money, MoneyGram, Azimo, Transfer Galaxy, Vodacom Tanzania, MTN Rwanda and MTN Uganda.

M-Pesa Awards.

Since it's inception in 2007, Safaricom M-pesa has won lots of awards and accolades, both local and international.
The awards are so numerous we might not be able to cover them all here, but somebody the notable ones are:
In May 2008, M-Pesa was awarded as the best project in the Economic Development Category of the Stockholm Challenge.
In September 2008, M-Pesa won the  World Business and Development Award for it's contribution towards millennium development goals.
One month later, M-Pesa won Africa on Awards Best Business Solution for rural services.
Come February 2019, M-Pesa was designated the Best Mobile Transfer Service, with the judges calling it "An accessible and intuitive Solution, reflected by an unprecedented take up rate for a service of this kind".
In 2015, Fortune ranked M-Pesa first in Change The World List. The list recognises companies that have made significant process in addressing major social problems as part of their core business strategy.
In April 2018, M-Pesa was awarded GSMA Mobile Money Certification For Operational Excellence. M-Pesa scored another feat after sucy passing the GSMA Mobile Money Certification, a global initiative that defines and promotes excellence in the provision of mobile money services. The service met the criteria in 8 areas of assessment.


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