M-Pesa transfers exceed M135m in October

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Executive Head of M-pesa Palesa Mphunyetsane

Executive Head of M-pesa Palesa Mphunyetsane

Rethabile Pitso

VODACOM Lesotho’s (VCL) money transfer service, M-Pesa, handled over M135 million in October, Executive Head of M-Pesa, Palesa Mphunyetsane, has said.

Ms Mphunyetsane last week told the Lesotho Times that 670 000 people had been registered on the platform since its launch in July 2013.

M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer and micro-financing service first introduced by Kenya’s leading mobile money network operator, Safaricom, which is part of the Vodafone Group.  The word M-Pesa was derived from Swahili, where ‘m’ refers to ‘mobile’ and ‘pesa’ means ‘money’. M-Pesa has been adopted and is currently utilised in all Vodafone and Vodacom’s operations across the globe.

Since its launch in the Mountain Kingdom, M-Pesa has grown in leaps and bounds with the introduction of other facilities such as paying for digital satellite television and utilities such as water and electricity.

In July, the telecommunications giant introduced the ‘Airtime to M-Pesa’ facility, which allows Vodacom subscribers to convert airtime to M-Pesa funds.

Ms Mphunyetsane said the response by VCL subscribers to M-Pesa was “overwhelming” because of the simple nature of the transactions. She also noted the facility had made financial services accessible to marginalised communities who do not qualify to open accounts with commercial banks.

“We have registered rapid growth with this service. The numbers change from month to month, but for this October, we recorded M135 million in mobile transfers through M-Pesa,” she said.

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