KPMG Dissects M-PESA’s Social Value As The Platform Hits 10 Years


A new ‘True Earnings’ Report by KPMG, finds that customers have, by far, been the largest financial beneficiaries of the M-PESA platform. KPMG performed an evaluation of the social value created by M-PESA using Social Return on Investment principles (SROI).

SROI is an open-source, principles-based method used to account for social change created as a result of certain investments or activities. This is one of the methodologies which is central to understanding the ‘True Earnings’ of a company or service.

The ten year study of M-PESA’s impact finds that the Social Value generated by M-PESA grew from KES.83 million in 2007, to KES.184 billion by the end of March 2016. KPMG finds that M-PESA customers were the biggest beneficiary of this social value, receiving a return in value of KES.160 billion as a stakeholder group in the financial year ending 2016.

As a stakeholder group, M-PESA agents experienced the second highest Social Value from M-PESA at KES.20.1 billion in the year ending March 2016. However, when individually, agents become the greatest beneficiaries of M-PESA’s, experiencing an average social value of KES.13,489 each year in the last ten years.

The number of agents increased from 2,000 in 2007 to more than 101,000 at the end of March 2016, with many agents creating entire businesses out of M-PESA.

“Although Safaricom earns growing revenues from the M-PESA product, the social value it has generated for customers continues to exceed the financial benefits to Safaricom in each of the years since its inception,” said Neil Morris, Climate Change & Sustainability Director, KPMG South Africa.

By 2016, each M-PESA customer had seen social value linked to the use of M-PESA of KES.9,679 in the course of the year, up from KES.3,202 when the product started in 2007. Over the same period, customers grew from 20,000 in March 2007 to more than 16 million by March 2016, while the value of transactions grew from KES.10.3 million to KES.5.2 trillion over the same period.

“Year after year, the role played by M-PESA in customers’ lives has widened as Kenyans embrace the platform for a greater number of services. Our sustained investment in innovation and technology has enabled our customers to accomplish their goals. Ultimately, we understand that M-PESA’s success is underpinned by our customers’ success,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s CEO.

Separate findings by Financial Sector Deepening credit M-PESA with the growth of financial inclusion in the country, which grew by more than 50 percent in the last ten years to stand at 75.3% of Kenyans in 2016. The mobile phone is also the preferred mode of savings in the country, with 60% of Kenyans having their savings in services such as M-PESA, M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA.

The number of active monthly M-PESA customers in the country stands at more than 18 million customers. Globally, Vodafone now offers M-PESA in 9 other countries: Albania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, India, Lesotho, Mozambique, Romania and Tanzania.

As of the end of December 2016, M-PESA served almost 29.5 million active customers through a network of more than 287,400 agents in the ten countries.  During 2016, the service processed around 6 billion transactions, peaking in December 2016 at 529 transactions every second.