M-Pesa is a form of mobile phone–based payment and transfer service that has been highly successful in Kenya. M-Pesa, which provides services for the mobile network operators Safaricom (in Kenya) and Vodacom (in Tanzania), is one of the most widely used mobile payment (or m-money) systems in the world. The name comes from the Swahili word pesa, which means “money,” and the m stands for “mobile.” This innovative payment system emerged from research that identified that in several countries in Africa people were using mobile phone credit as a proxy for money by transferring it between users (often friends or relatives). Initially, the service was planned to act as a form of microfinance, where borrowers could receive and repay loans via phone credit. However, a ...

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