The Truth Behind Safaricom’s M-Pesa

Many laude Safaricom to be the holy grail when it comes to money transfer services as it is touted to be innovative and adressing the common mwananchi. . .. . .

All this may be truth but as Michael Joseph once put it, M-Pesa does not contribute much to the bottomline revenue. This begs the question then, What was the purpose of the M-Pesa service?

The answer to this would have to be two faced. From a business point of view, M-Pesa is an addon service that is used as a retainer of subscribers and attract new ones.

From a strategic vew point, Safaricom had been pressured by goverment authorities to develop a kind of database to be able to track the users of the lines  and provide some form of identification to the users of the said lines.

This I believe is the real reason that M-Pesa was developed. . . 

All 4 million subscribers provided their details of their names, and national ID cards and thus Safaricom is now in total control control of its prepaid subscribers who were hitherto totally anonymous.

We should also remember safaricom is essentially goverment property and is thus controlled by them and it would be impossible for it to work outside the whims of the ruling class.

Your Humble Blogger,


  • kip

    Now, this sounds like a serious “conspiracy”, I am one of the many fans of the MPESA service, why? one because I am an IT guy, two, it brings e-commerce to our fingertips. These two reasons will mean a lot to me as a person. Why would the government use the database information from a third party organization? why not acquire their own systems? I am certain of one thing though, consumer confidence has to be preserved, if Safaricom has to keep up with its loyal customers [see MPESA]

    my two cents

  • smmk

    Interesting perspective