The M-PESA Mobile Services , By: Vodafone

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The M-PESA Mobile Services in Kenya
M-PESA is aimed at mobile customers who do not have a bank account, typically because they do not have access to a bank or because they do not have sufficient income to justify a bank account. All they need to do is register at an authorized M-PESA Agent by providing their Safaricom mobile number and their identification card. Once registered, customers can:
  • Put money into their account by depositing cash at a local Agent
  • Send money to other mobile phone users by SMS instruction, even if they are not Safaricom subscribers.
  • Withdraw cash at a local Agent
  • Buy Safaricom airtime for themselves or other subscribers
Only Safaricom subscribers can send M-PESA, but anyone who can receive an sms can receive money by MPESA. Customers do not need to have a bank account to benefit from M-PESA services.

Cash is paid into M-PESA and withdrawn at M-PESA Agent outlets. These outlets are typically local Safaricom Dealers, but can also be other kinds of retailers such as petrol stations, supermarkets and local shops. There is currently a large network of M-PESA Agents across Kenya who has been trained to use the service. It is planned to grow this network significantly in the coming months.

The M-PESA service was originally created as a pilot funded, jointly by Vodafone and the UK Department for International Development [DFID] Financial Deepening Challenge Fund. The pilot ran for over 6 months in Kenya from October 2005 in partnership with Faulu Kenya, a local Microfinance Institution.

Michael Joseph, CEO of Safaricom, said: “Safaricom and Vodafone’s M-PESA mobile money transfer service is an example of Kenya leading the way in the advancement of mobile technology and its uses. Following the very positive response by consumers to the pilot, we believe that there is a great deal to be gained for Kenyan consumers as well as for mobile and financial sector companies”.

Gavin Darby, CEO Non European Affiliates at Vodafone, added: “Now we have officially launched M-PESA in Kenya, we look forward to taking the service international. Our announcement yesterday of Vodafone’s international money remittance venture with Citigroup to assist migrant workers send money home conveniently and safely using mobile technology, would not be possible without the Kenya trials which have led to the successful launch of M-PESA.”
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