Mobile money innovation is a game-changer says M-Pesa Africa CEO Sitoyo Lopokoiyit

Mr Sitoyo Lopokoiyit CEO M-Pesa Africa.

M-Pesa now boasts more than 50 million monthly active users across seven African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt, with 500,000 businesses transacting over 7 billion U.S. dollars every month on the M-Pesa platform

By The Weekly Vision Online

Africa’s fast-growing mobile payment market is offering opportunities to enhance financial access and tap the continent’s “digital dividend” potential, says Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, CEO of M-Pesa Africa.

Mr Sitoyo Lopokoiyit spoke about how digital payment technology has transformed millions of lives that largely remain unbanked across the African continent. “When M-Pesa started, financial inclusion in Kenya was some 20 per cent. But today it’s well above 85 per cent, making the country the third highest in Africa in terms of financial inclusion. Mr Lopokoiyit is also Chief Financial Services Officer at Kenya’s telecommunications service provider Safaricom PLC.

As an example, for myself, my family is 550 kilometres from Nairobi and it meant taking a whole day’s journey to go and give my mother money every other time-Sitoyo Lopokoiyit

Launched by Safaricom in 2007, M-Pesa is an electronic mobile money service that allows users to deposit, withdraw and transfer money, pay for goods and services, and access loans and savings product. M-Pesa, however, was not created to be a fintech and digital ecosystem brand, rather a simple proposition to help people send money to each other via Short Message Service. Due to rapid urbanization in Kenya, a large number of people moved from rural areas to cities for jobs and sent money home to support their families. But remitting the money-back used to be challenging as the migrant workers either needed an envelope and a bus courier to send money back or they had to leave the city where they worked to take money home.

“As an example, for myself, my family is 550 kilometres from Nairobi and it meant taking a whole day’s journey to go and give my mother money every other time,” Lopokoiyit recalled. “M-Pesa changed it all and has been key in driving financial inclusion across the African continent.”

M-Pesa now boasts more than 50 million monthly active users across seven African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt, with 500,000 businesses transacting over 7 billion U.S. dollars every month on the M-Pesa platform. 

In December 2020, M-Pesa introduced its super app service intending to grow itself into a payment lifestyle brand that gives users a ‘one-stop-shop for all their needs. Chinese telecom giant Huawei since 2015 has been supporting the core platform of M-Pesa by providing secure, stable, innovative and scalable technology. 

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