In releasing FY 2014/15 results, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore stated that nearly 42% of Kenya’s GDP was transacted using the mobile money service. This underscores the importance of the service, which has gone on to evolve to offer micro-loans through M-Shwari and KCB M-Pesa account. The service also allows for merchant payments through Lipa-na M-Pesa. In its commentary on diaspora remittances in Kenya for the month of December 2015, the Central Bank of Kenya noted a growth of 8.4% in remittances in 2015. North America dominated by source regions, accounting for 49.6 percent of total inflows in December 2015 and recording growth of 10.1 percent. Inflow from Europe increased by 15.6 percent.
Remittances from the diaspora is about to get easier as PayPal account holders can now send money directly to M-Pesa. This will take place through Xoom, a paypal service that allows for sending international money transfers. The announcement was made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. At the same time, Vodafone, which owns 40% stake in Safaricom announced a partnership with TransferTo, a Singapore based remittance firm to provide M-Pesa transfers. TransferTo has a presence in 100 countries, partnerships with over 1,000 financial institutions and 400 mobile operators. This gives the company access to over 4.5 Billion users, which may see many of them using M-Pesa.
Other services that allow users to transfer funds directly to M-Pesa include Western Union, which partnered with Safaricom in 2011 to allow users send money directly to M-Pesa accounts. Money gram and World Remit also allow users to send funds to M-Pesa accounts directly. The service will not only benefit those in the diaspora but also makes payments for goods and services easier.