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KPMG evaluates M-Pesa's market strength

KPMG evaluates M-Pesa's market strength

KPMG has released a new report on the value of M-Pesa which has found in favour of the mobile phone-based money transfer service since its founding ten years ago in Kenya.

The professional service firm's new report titled 'True Earnings'' found, through its Social Return on Investment principles (SROI) methodology, that customers are, up to this point, the largest financial beneficiaries of the mobile money platform.

KPMG reports that 'Social Value' generated by M-Pesa grew from Sh83 million in 2007 to Sh184 billion by the end of March 2016, with customers receiving a return in value of Sh160 billion in the financial year ending 2016.

Neil Morris, Climate Change & Sustainability Director at KPMG South Africa says the benefit to consumers far outweighs that received by mobile operators such as Safaricom, Vodafone's Kenya associate, which launched M-Pesa on 6 March 2007.

"Although Safaricom earns growing revenues from the M-Pesa product, the social value it has generated for customers continues to exceed the financial benefits to Safaricom in each of the years since its inception," said Morris.

The KPMG report established that over the last decade, mobile money customers have made savings in time as well as an increase in their safety and wellbeing as a result of not having to carry cash.

The only negative aspect to M-Pesa, according to KPMG, was a reduction in wellbeing for some customers as a result of spending less time with family members because they no longer need to receive financial contributions in person.

Customer numbers surged from 20,000 in March 2007 to more than 16 million by March 2016, while the value of transactions grew from Sh10.3 million to Sh5.2 trillion over the same period according to the report.

Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom has emphasised that customers are at the heart of M-Pesa which has since expanded to incorporate a health payment platform in Kenya called M-Tiba.

"Year after year, the role played by M-Pesa in customers' lives has widened as Kenyans embrace the platform for a greater number of services. Our sustained investment in innovation and technology has enabled our customers to accomplish their goals. Ultimately, we understand that M-Pesa's success is underpinned by our customers' success,"

Mobile money services have since been rolled out as far afield as Albania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Romania and Tanzania.

Yasmina McCarty, Head of Mobile for Development at GSMA, lauded the impact that M-Pesa has had globally during the GSMA's Mobile World Congress where some of its benefits were showcased for members of the mobile industry who may be interested in introducing similar services in their own countries.

"What is exciting is that we now have half a billion mobile money wallets around the world now and about every minute you have thirty thousand transactions. Mobile money is in ninety-two countries now and processing 22 billion dollars in one month so it has become an industry in its own right and that is thanks to mobile technology. We have thirty-five mobile money services with one million active customers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but Africa continues to be the pioneer. It is an innovation that you can say Africa gave to the world as it has travelled beyond the continent."

The KPMG report also found that M-Pesa agents experienced the second highest social value totalling Sh20.1 billion from M-Pesa in the year ending March 2016. The report further states that when assessed individually and not as a group, agents are greatest beneficiaries of the mobile money service with an average social value of Sh13,489 each year over the last ten years.

Michael Joseph, Vodafone Group Managing Director of M-Pesa echoed McCarty's sentiments on the positive impact of M-Pesa worldwide.

"M-Pesa is a revolution that has empowered tens of millions of people in some of the poorest communities in the world to start and grow businesses and gain greater financial resilience. All of us at Vodafone are very proud of how M-Pesa has enhanced our customers' daily lives and helped them plan for the future with confidence.

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