M-pesa trans­fers ex­ceed M135m

Lesotho Times - - News - Retha­bile Pitso

VO­DA­COM Le­sotho’s (VCL) money trans­fer ser­vice, M-pesa, han­dled over M135 mil­lion in Oc­to­ber, ex­ec­u­tive Head of M-pesa, Palesa Mphun­yet­sane ( pic­tured right), 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.

“We have over 670 000 peo­ple now reg­is­tered on the M-pesa ser­vice, which is re­mark­able growth.”

Ms Mphun­yet­sane also said M-pesa agents, who get com­mis­sion each time they serve users, had grown to 1 800.

“We are also happy to note that M-pesa now has 1 800 agents coun­try­wide and we con­tinue to re­cruit more on a daily ba­sis. This means M-pesa con­tin­ues to cre­ate jobs for Ba­sotho,” she said.

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