HomeNewsM-Pesa Super Apps gives powers of system creation to African businesses

    M-Pesa Super Apps gives powers of system creation to African businesses

    M-Pesa Africa has grown to become a full financial services provider. The Super App launched in 2021 is used by 9 million customers to access a broader range of services including savings, insurance and credit


    Vodafone Group’s M-Pesa service has invented a way for businesses to create their own platforms within the M-Pesa Super Apps.

    It is now working with software developers to create ‘mini apps’ which extend its services offering through a channel of businesses. 

    “M-Pesa is a great example of how a regional platform can evolve and grow to meet and anticipate customer needs using smartphone technology,” said Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read. M-Pesa has helped the Vodafone Group to explore how to monetise the connections it provides to subscribers, according to Read.

    The same creative thought processes that gave rise to peer-to-peer money transfer and utility bill payments could be used to explore the possibilities of 5G. From its simple objectives M-Pesa grew in sophistication to eventually offer business payroll systems and to financial services such as micro-loans, according to Read.

    A happy anniversary

    Read was speaking as Vodafone and its African subsidiaries Vodacom and Safaricom marked the 15th anniversary of M-Pesa, the service launched in March 2007 to enable money transfers between people using 2G feature phones. It was launched with the support of Britain’s Department for International Development.

    From its beginning in Kenya, M-Pesa has grown to serve 51 million customers and 465,000 businesses. The service is provided by 600,000 agents across Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt. M-Pesa processes more than 61 million transactions a day, making it Africa’s largest fintech provide and it has attracted 42,000 external developers to create additional services for the platform.

    As Africans across the continent shift to smartphones and use 3G and 4G broadband, M-Pesa is evolving to become a digital financial services provider. In 2021, M-Pesa Africa launched the M-Pesa Super App and M-Pesa Business Super App which lets any business on the service to run a virtual storefront providing their services through M-Pesa Mini Apps.

    “As the original mobile money service, M-Pesa has been the most significant driver of financial inclusion in Africa over the past 15 years. It is the continent’s largest fintech platform and provides access to financial services for millions in a secure, affordable and convenient way,” said Read.