Vodafone is extending M-Pesa to Ghana, making it the 11th country to offer the mobile money service to unbanked consumers in developing markets in Africa, India and Europe.
M-Pesa, launched in 2007 in Kenya and Tanzania, enables anyone with a feature phone to send money to another user. In Ghana, Vodafone will operate the service under the brand name Vodafone Cash.
About 15 million Ghanians, or 64%, lack a bank account, according to Vodafone. The company saw saw “strong demand” for the service following a pilot that began in August 2015, said Michael Joseph, Vodafone’s director of mobile money.
In addition to Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania, M-Pesa is also available in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mozambique, Egypt, Lesotho, Albania and Romania. Walmart also recently began allowing consumers in India to pay using M-Pesa.
Altogether, M-Pesa powered 2 billion transactions in the six-month period prior to September 2015, a 26% increase over the same period in 2014, according to Vodafone. The service is often credited with helping to spark broader financial services in Africa and other emerging markets by utilizing mobile money.