Driving data penetration, growing digital and financial services
More than 2 billion people in the world, many of them women, still have no access to banking facilities. With a mobile phone and an M-Pesa account, people on low incomes can send, receive and store money safely and securely giving them more control over their financial affairs. It also reduces the associated risks of a cash-based society, including robbery and corruption.
We continue to see significant growth potential in emerging markets. Mobile data services and usage penetration is still relatively low, and there is the potential to expand M-Pesa, our African payments platform, beyond just money transfer to capture digital and financial services opportunities.
Thanks to the development of additional services built on the M-Pesa offering, such as M-Shwari, M-Pawa and KCB M-Pesa, our customers can also save money through interest-bearing accounts and can arrange micro-loans to help fund their businesses. In addition, M-Pesa is widely used to manage business transactions and to pay salaries, pensions, agricultural subsidies and government grants.
M-Pesa as a financial services platform
We also see a significant opportunity to grow in digital and financial services. M-Pesa, our African payments platform, has moved beyond its origins as a money transfer service, and now provides enterprise payments, financial services and merchant payment services for mobile commerce.