History of MPesa in Kenya Since 2007: Who Invented MPesa? JKUAT Student Nyagaka Anyona or Hughes

  • Post published:Mar 04, 2024
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M-Pesa is a trusted mobile money transfer platform with origins in East Africa and a groundbreaking influence across the globe. The history of MPesa in Kenya since 2007 is highly inspiring with a list of inventors and multibillion investors.

The person who invented MPesa has long remained mysterious but not anymore. Turns out he came up with the ideas while an ongoing student at the Jomo Kenyatta Institute of Agriculture and Technology.

Who Invented MPesa? Nyagaka or Hughes

Safaricom PLC recognizes ex JKUAT student Nyagaka Anyona Ouko as the inventor of the MPesa. On pitching the idea with the former CEO Michael Joseph, Nyagaka benefitted an unspecified reward from the telco company.

In 2012, he allegedly presented a certificate of copyright affirming himself as the founder.

Conflicting information indicates that Vodafone head of social enterprises Nick Hughes pioneered the MPesa idea in 2003.

On proposing the delivery of financial services over the mobile phone, Nick Hughes received Ksh. 140 million in funding within a couple of years.

The UK’s Department for International Development trusted Hughes with huge capitation in the hope of actualizing his mind-tingling idea.

Hughes worked closely with Susie Lonie who was equally enthusiastic with Vodafone mobile commerce in Europe.

In the end, Nyagaka Anyona Ouko succeeded in actualizing mobile money transfers in ways that no one else had thought of before.

History of MPesa in Kenya since 2007

MPesa means mobile money in Swahili translation, with roots in the Republic of Kenya. It is by far the most successful project ever launched by Safaricom Telecommunication Company.

MPesa is notorious for providing financial services to unbanked and under-banked populations.

1. MPesa launched in March 2007

When was M-Pesa invented? M-Pesa money transfer service.was invented earlier but launched by Safaricom PLC in March 2007.

It allowed users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money, and pay for goods and services using their mobile phones.

This service gained traction rapidly due to its convenience and ease of use. Initially, it was primarily used for domestic money transfers and remittances.

2. Widespread adoption since 2010

M-Pesa’s popularity continued to grow, and its usage expanded beyond urban areas to rural regions where traditional banking infrastructure is scarce.

People started using M-Pesa for a variety of transactions, including bill payments, airtime top-ups, and even small-scale business transactions.

3. Continued innovation and diversification

Between 2013 and 2016, Safaricom introduced additional features to M-Pesa, such as M-Shwari – a mobile-based savings and loans product offered in partnership with a local bank.

Mshwari would allow users to earn interest on their savings and access small loans through their mobile phones.

The introduction of loaning services showcased the potential for M-Pesa to go beyond simple money transfers.

4. Expansion and bigger impact

M-Pesa continues to evolve in its offerings and range of services.

As we speak, its services include international money transfers, allowing Kenyans to receive remittances from abroad directly into their M-Pesa accounts.

This feature further solidified M-Pesa’s position as a crucial tool for financial inclusion.

Additionally, Safaricom introduced partnerships with various businesses, enabling customers to make payments for utilities, goods, and services using M-Pesa.

5. Regulation and growth since 2017

The Kenyan government recognized the significance of M-Pesa and introduced regulations to ensure the safety and stability of mobile money services.

This regulatory framework enhanced consumer confidence and contributed to the sustained growth of M-Pesa.

By this time, M-Pesa had become deeply ingrained in Kenyan society, with millions of users relying on it for daily transactions.

How many countries use Safaricom?

MPesa is available in about 10 countries with Ethiopia being the latest beneficiary.

The list of countries with MPesa services is as follows;

  1. Ghana
  2. Egypt
  3. Lesotho
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Tanzania
  6. Afghanistan
  7. Mozambique
  8. Democratic Republic of Congo

The success of MPesa is now spilling to more African and Asian countries.

The history of MPesa in Kenya is incomplete with its inventor Nyagaka Anyona Ouko. Trusted sources say he has since been compensated for the progressive idea.

sir enock

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