Alternative marketing thinking


M-PESA, An African Payment Success

About a fortnight back, we spoke about how the like of M-Pesa is replacing plastic. Today we see why it is such a huge success in Kenya, the place where it started. Olga Morawczynski, a doctoral candidate from the University of Edinburgh who spent 9 months studying customer adoption and usage in Kenya made some interesting observations on the Safaricom run venture. She sights one of the main reasons for M-Pesa’s popularity as the fact that the primary user is the young, male, urban migrant. He is often more educated than his family, he is the one who earns money and chooses the way he wants to transfer it to his family. When he chooses M-Pesa, it is but natural that his family will also have to choose it to be able to receive the money. Another huge factor is the fact that the services of M-Pesa are widespread, often people in rural areas do not have to travel a long time to get their money. Another factor that we have sighted before is the fact that the majority of users are unbanked – the unavailability of a bank account makes them easy adopters of M-Pesa. What is to be seen is that how many other countries will follow in M-Pesa’s path?


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