MPESA: The Centre of Mobile money that is disrupting how we use our cash

By Steve Biko Wafula / September 23, 2019 | 9:46 am



M-Pesa Logo

Modern conveniences have their strengths in the concepts of technological disruptions that we enjoy today.

The mobile phone is the denominator medium that brings us these modern conveniences that the modern generation seems to take for granted. It’s a divisive debate on the benefits of the mobile and its side effects on modern family.

I remember during our high school times, mobile money was a concept eon away. If one planned for a date or a meet up with friends, then everything was manual. You planned physically or via the landline, whose presence was limited to the elite of the community. The essence of keeping time was critical because it was the only way to ensure things ran smoothly. Cash was the absolute King.

The joy of disruption comes from accepting that we all live in a temporal state. Since then, things have become easier and better. Dates. Meetings. Have become convenient. I believe the one thing that pickpockets hate is M-PESA because more and more people aren’t carrying cash anymore.

Jay Samit once said that to be successful, innovation is not just about value creation, but value capture. Mobile technology has indeed captured our mental state that without it, life comes to an end. Imagine you are in town, its 10 PM, from work, then you realize you have no money for fare back home. You have no phone to call anyone for help. The panic, the stress one would go through is unfathomable. But in today’s age, such a situation would be resolved with a call and an M-PESA message.

Having been carjacked once, having heard cruel stories of how my friends have suffered in Nairobi and other big towns at the hands of street boys, thieves, and pickpockets, walking with cash is a big no. It’s the ultimate security risk in today’s age to carry around money. Even for small errands like fare and lunch, M-PESA is bae. I will simply tell the bus conductor that I have no cash but I have M-PESA and will send him … “Na ya kutoa…” and they always agree. I believe Safaricom PLC should come up with a LIPA NA MPESA FOR Matatus and Mama Mbogas.

I say this because these are the foundations of the bottom of the pyramid where life happens and the majority of the transactions take place. It’s an interesting ecosystem that should inform how mobile money should keep evolving for better as we move from cash to cashless economy. This has tremendous benefits to an individual and the economy at large. The safety concerns of money transactions are addressed by MPESA.

I believe depositing your money into your MPESA account and using it to pay bills and other life conveniences is a technological disruption that has changed our lives for better. The convenience of access. The ease of access to the transactions, making it easier to track your spending hence being able to budget for your money and be able to achieve whatever it is that you set your mind to. Using cash isn’t easy to track and makes it very difficult to plan. Not to mention, cash requires you have a bank account of some sort and this means access issues. MPESA shops are everywhere. Every corner you turn, you will see an MPESA shop. The access is amazing.

The disruption is not only to an individual level but across the economic ecosystem. MPESA has become part and parcel of us. It’s like the oxygen we breathe into a level whereby we have taken it for granted. M-Pesa Revenue FY19 was at 75 Billion KES. M-Pesa Customers stood at 22.6 Billion as of March 2019. M-Pesa Global Active Customers stood at 180,000. There are currently 167,083 M-Pesa Agents. 61,567 Agents have so far been trained on business ethics and anti-fraud ethics. The level of job creation alone is amazing and deserves to be mentioned and acknowledged and supported.

Jay Samit in Disrupt You…Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation;..’ said, Disruptors don’t have to discover something new; they just have to discover a practical use for discoveries. Money as the center of the medium of exchange has always been there. The question was how to make it convenient and accessible and more practical and MPESA has answered that in a very innovative way. Our world’s future is far more malleable and controllable than most people realize. Just look at how MPESA has grown, is growing and how every day new products are being added onto the platform.

Those that recognize the inevitability of change stand to benefit the most from it. Our economy is an intricately connected market to other global markets and everyday something new is added. Money as the medium of change in the realm of trade means must be disrupted enough for it to be accessible in a better way hence things like blockchain technology that is trying to disrupt the whole essence of money. The best big idea is only going to be as good as its implementation. MPESA is virtually you and I. the best form batter trade in today’s modern world. Deposit your money in your MPESA account and transact and move with ease, security and no worries and when you run out of your cash, the MPESA ecosystem has plenty of options on how to access more money with ease and confidentiality.





About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: [email protected]

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