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Tawfik Jelassi (Ecole des Ponts Business School); Stephanie Ludwig (Ecole des Ponts Business School)
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28 pages
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This case study investigates the development in Kenya of M-PESA, the world’s most successful mobile financial service. Using an inclusive business approach, this ICT-based transformative financial service, targeted at low-income-customers, provided financial inclusion and other socio-economic benefits to its users. M-PESA was developed by Safaricom, the incumbent telecom operator of Kenya, in partnership with Vodafone. The service was launched in March 2007 and has since been met with a tremendous success: its adoption and use by more than 12 million people in Kenya! By sending and receiving e-money, they can now quickly and safely support their family in rural areas at low cost and do so much more. M-PESA has thus made a major impact on people’s lives in Kenya and on the socio-economic development of the country. The case study describes the birth of M-PESA, its development and roll-out as well its use by different segments of society including the poor and the financially excluded citizens. It brings to the fore several important topics and issues, including the following: (1) The analysis of M-PESA as an example of inclusive business (in terms of its characteristics, ICT-based innovation, economic model as a profit center, and the extended multi-stakeholder approach that was used in developing the service); (2) M-PESA business model evolution (in terms of value creation and value capture, roll-out execution, critical mass building, and network externality effect); (3) M-PESA global strategy and business expansion (in terms of both market and product extension); (4) The sustainability of M-PESA’s first-mover advantage (in terms of market leadership position); and (5) The ethical issues surrounding M-PESA, its corporate social responsibility and Safaricom’s relationship with the Kenyan Government (for developing public-private partnerships. The M-PESA case study can be used in MBA and Executive MBA programs as well as in management development seminars. Its content fits well with topics that include Business Strategy, International Business, Marketing, Technology Management, Innovation Management, e-Commerce and e-Business.

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This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.


Telecommunications; Mobile money; Mobile financial services; Mobile payment; Inclusive business; ICT-based innovation; Business model evolution; Multi-stakeholder approach; Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Public-private partnerships; Global strategy and business expansion; Kenya; Africa


The events covered by this item took place in 2006-2011.

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