Is There an App to Track M-PESA’s Growth?

Do you feel close to the people who send you text messages? Banks seem to think so. Juniper predicts a global surge in text messages from financial institutions, to 90 billion texts per year by 2015. From Finextra:

Juniper analyst Howard Wilcox says: “Our research found that messaging is a ‘win-win’ for banks. They can improve customer service significantly, whilst simultaneously eliminating the cost of servicing customer enquiries placed with call centres.”

Though many say it will be years (or never) by the time near-field communication (NFC) technology gets into the hands of the mass market customer, at least one very notable handset maker appears to be making moves towards integrating NFC into its future products. From the New York Times:

There are a number of reasons Apple could decide to integrate NFC into its line of mobile phones and music players. The company could try to replace cash or credit cards, allowing iPhone owners to swipe their phones at a terminal to pay for products or services.

I don’t know about you, but the customer count for M-PESA in Kenya gives me whiplash (or is it vertigo?). As of the end of July, M-PESA in Kenya reached a new milestone – nearly 12 million subscribers. And Vodacom in South Africa plans to launch the service in that competitive market at the end of August, as Nairobi’s Daily Nation tells us:

Safaricom says M-Pesa subscribers have grown by 61 per cent to 11.89 million by July 2010 from 7.38 million the same period last year. It has transferred Sh525.84 billion since its inception in 2007 and the monthly average has increased by 30 per cent. Last month, Sh33 billion was transfered compared to Sh20 billion in July last year.

There were 19,500 agents by July. The money transfer system has become globally acclaimed with other countries adopting the model. South Africa’s Vodacom, teaming up with local banking group Nedbank, is set to launch its service by August 31.

If you need a refresher (or introduction) as to why M-PESA has done so well in Kenya, watch this and read this.


-Jim Rosenberg


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