Mobile Innovation Kenya
M-Pesa and Financial Inclusion
East African Country
Population: appox. 44,000,000
More than 60% of the population is under 25 years old.
More than half of the population lives below the poverty
Mobile Phone in Kenya
Mobile phone services were introduced in Kenya in the
Safaricom, Kenya’s dominant mobile service provider,
started its operations in 1997.
By 2001, mobile subscriptions surpassed landlines.
By 2013, mobile penetration has surpassed 75% with a
over 31 million subscriptions.
More Kenyans have access to a mobile phone than they do
to clean drinking water, electricity and bank accounts.
Cheap mobile phones, from China, are being sold for as
little as $20 US.
Kenya Vision 2030, lists the Kenyan government’s development
goals from 2008 to 2030. One of these goals is to increase financial
services to the poor. These services would include such things as
formal banking, savings, credit and pensions.
This presentations is about financial inclusion and how the emerging
mobile money market is helping Kenya reach their development
M-Pesa: Mobile Money
M-Pesa was launched as a mobile
money transfer service in 2007.
Its original intent was to help
microfinance loan recipients pay
back their loans with more ease and
help urban workers remit money
back home to their villages.
After the first year of business, it had
2 million active users.
By March of 2013 it had reached 17
Kenya has become the world leader
in mobile money transfers.
More mobile money transfers happen
everyday in Kenya than Western
Union does globally!
M-Kesho launched in 2010 as a joint
venture between Equity bank and
M-Kesho is a mobile banking.
M-Kesho was added to the user
interface on the M-Pesa menu.
M-Kesho signed up 650,000
customers within the first 6 months.
M-Kesho also offers emergency credit
Users can open an account with as
little as $1.25 and still earn 1% interest.
M-Pesa transaction history over 6
months service as a credit history for
No fees to deposit.
Transaction fee for withdrawals.
M-Kesho: Mobile Banking
Mbao: Pensions for the Poor
Mbao Pension Plan was introduced in 2011.
Its purpose was to encourage the poor
informal working class to save money.
Contributions can be made through two
mobile platforms, M-Pesa and ZAP.
GiveDirectly was founded by four
American University students who
recognized the potential to transfer
money directly to the poor in Kenya
through mobile services.
Money is given and the effects of
unconditional cash transfers are
studied; recipients can spend it
however they want.
Recipients receive $1000 US over a
period of 10 months.
Donations are transferred from
GiveDirectly’s M-Pesa account to the
recipient’s M-Pesa account.
If the recipient doesn’t have a mobile
phone, GiveDirectly gives them one.
GiveDirectly has made the ‘top 3
charities’ list for charity evaluator,
Awarded $2.4 million by Google to
expand into other countries.
One of Kenya’s most successful
mobile innovations is Ushahidi.
Ushahidi was created in two days by
a group of bloggers and software
developers after the post-election
violence in 2007-2008.
Ushahidi is used to crowd-source
information in crisis situations.
Ushahidi is a mashup that pulls data
from Twitter, email, SMS, Google
Maps and OpenStreetMap.
Ushahidi enables users to share
reports and to see mapped data in
Ushahidi is now being used in over
159 countries and has been translated
into 35 different languages.
Mobile Start-ups are creating
opportunities and transforming
M-Kazi is a mobile application for job
M-Farm provides farmers with up-to-
date prices and farming trends.
M-Maji helps the poor locate water
and gives them details as to price and
M-Changa is a crowdfunding
M-Prep is mobile learning for K12
iHub is a Nairobi’s tech innovation
The Kenyan national government
sees the ICT sector as one of the
pillars to realizing its development
A new undersea fiber optic cable is
being deployed on the Eastern Coast
Konza tech city, a $14.2 Billion
project, is being built near Nairobi.
The government is rolling out a
program to provide every child with a
laptop when they enter school.
Financial Access Surveys show incredible gains in financial
access from 2006 (The year before M-Pesa’s launch) to
Huge improvements in internet connectivity may further
increase access to financial services. 4.3 million smartphone
users by the end of 2013. 80% of those that access the
internet are doing it through their smartphones.
Whether Kenya will reach its 2030 Vision goal of being a
middle income economy remains to be seen, but the country
may very will reach complete financial inclusion of all of its
citizen if it maintains its current pace.
“Consider the success of mobile banking, which offers a way for
people on the low end of the economic scale to leap into the world
of modern finance without having to build a single bank. With an M-
Pesa ‘electronic wallet’ a Kenyan can use his cell phone to pay for
a ride in a taxicab, a service that is not available in the West. Since
2007 the number of Kenyans who keep money in a bank has risen
from one in five to one in two, thanks in large part to M-Pesa. The
increase in bank savings could serve as a new pool of money to
finance the building of roads and other critical infrastructure, and its
potential to grow is huge.”
Ruchir Sharma, Breakout Nations
● Kenya Demographics
● Kenya Vision 2030
● M-PESA: Mobile Money for the “Unbanked”
Turning Cellphones into 24-Hour Tellers in
● 10 Things You Thought You Knew about M-
● M-Pesa Timeline - Interactive
● Money, Real Quick: The Story of M-Pesa
● M-Pesa Mobile Money Video
● M-KESHO in Kenya: A new step for M-PESA
and mobile banking
● M-KESHO Account Brochure
● Extending Pension and Savings Scheme
Coverage to the Informal Sector: Kenya's
MBAO Pension Plan
● Give Well Top Charities
● Can 4 Economists Build the Most Economically
Efficient Charity Ever?
● What is Ushahidi?
● Ushahidi, or 'testimony': Web 2.0
tools for crowdsourcing crisis
● Mobile Phone Usage at the Kenyan
Base of the Pyramid
● Peter Day Global Biz Podcasts on
Mobile Money in Kenya
● Konza City
● Financial Access National Survey
● Poor People Using Mobile Financial
Services: Observations on Customer
Usage and Impact from M-PESA
● Breakout Nations