Kenya leads the world in using mobile money with M-PESA, launched in 2007 by mobile-network operator Safaricom. M-PESA (M stands for mobile, PESA is Swahili for money) is a mobile phone-based money transfer service. It allows users to transfer money and pay for goods and services (Lipa na M-PESA) easily with a mobile device. M-PESA has a household penetration of 96%: In May 2016 over 23 million Kenyans had an M-PESA account, of which 16.6 million customers used M-PESA at least once a month. Over 6 million transactions were carried out daily using the system. In 2015, it was estimated that an equivalent of 42% of Kenya’s GDP value was transacted through M-Pesa.
As a result of the rise of M-PESA and other mobile innovations, Kenyans and other Africans can, with a simple click of a button, send digital money across mountain ranges and savannahs. Farmers can use their mobile phones to access important weather data. Traders can compare the most current prices.