by Ignacio Mas and Dan Radcliffe — published in 2010

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World Bank

M-PESA is a small-value electronic payment and store-of-value system in Kenya accessible from ordinary mobile phones. It has seen exceptional growth since its introduction in March 2007. Now in use by 9 million customers—40 percent of Kenya’s adult population—the system processes more transactions domestically than Western Union does globally. M-PESA’s market success is the result of the interplay of three fac- tors: preexisting country conditions that made Kenya a conducive environment for a successful mobile money deployment; a clever service design that facilitated rapid adoption and early capturing of network effects; and a business execution strategy that helped M-PESA rapidly reach a critical mass of customers, thereby avoiding the adverse chicken-and-egg (two-sided market) problems that afflict new payment systems.

International agencies, Social, Economic, Technological, mobile, mobile payments, m-pesa, Kenya, development