Guy Stuart, Ph.D. and Monique Cohen, Ph.D.

September 2011


M-PESA, Kenya

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Cash In, Cash Out Kenya: The Role of M-PESA in the Lives of Low-Income People

MPESA, Kenya's breakthrough mobile phone-enabled e-money innovation, has reached massive scale since its 2007 launch. To state the facts in brief: as of this writing, over 13.5 million Kenyans, or about 70% of the adult population, have an MPESA account. MPESA customers are served by a nationwide network of more than 28,000 agents, who process the deposit and withdrawal of cash back and forth into "emoney." Given its stunning growth, much has already been written about MPESA. This report's contribution to the growing and important literature is twofold. First is an analysis that draws on a unique, large set of transactional data, gathered using the Financial Diaries methodology from almost 100 respondents over eight months. The data-gathering yielded over 18,000 transactional records.

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