In emerging economies, the mobile phone can be a lifeline for the underbanked. Industry players recognize that while an affordable mobile phone can be easy to get your hands on, a bank account isn’t always accessible.
Mobile payments have gained significant traction in emerging economies throughout Africa, and a few players are beginning to make use of these technologies for B2B payments, too.
M-Pesa operates in multiple African markets as both a B2C and B2B mobile payments solution. The company recently partnered with MTN Mobile Money to ease friction in cross-border payments in East Africa, another key solution to onboarding businesses to its service.
The company released new figures this week about how that onboarding has translated into usage. According to telco operator Safaricom, B2B payments made through M-Pesa rose by 65 percent on its platform in Kenya, reports by Mobile World Live said Thursday (Nov. 5). The value of these transactions has reached $240 million, reports added.
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While P2P mobile payments remain M-Pesa’s largest source of traffic, the growth suggests that B2B mobile transactions are gaining ground in the market.
Safaricom enables mobile payments with M-Pesa thanks to its partnership with Vodafone, which first launched the M-Pesa platform. Reports last September unveiled new efforts from the companies to boost its standing in the corporate payments world.
Specifically, Safaricom released an M-Pesa API, as well as an open source forum for third-party developers. These capacities, the company said at the time, would be particularly useful in B2B transactions, according to reports.