• According to Ruto, M-Pesa transactions amount to USD 1.2 billion daily, and now serves over 5 million enterprises and 61 million customers across eight countries.
• The head of State recalled the initial skepticism from the banking sector when Safaricom Ltd launched the service 17 years ago
President William Ruto has highlighted the transformative power of innovation while cautioning against potential risks.
Giving his speech at the Global World Summit in Dubai, Ruto acknowledged the groundbreaking role played by M-Pesa in Kenya's digital landscape.
Going down memory lane, the Head of State recalled the initial skepticism from the banking sector when Safaricom Ltd launched the service 17 years ago.
"The country's banking sector was up in arms, Safaricom had set out to conduct banking business without either obtaining a banking license or undergoing the rigors of banking regulation," Ruto revealed.
President Ruto emphasized the importance of vigilance in the face of emerging technologies, stating, "It is wise to be vigilant against adverse implications, antisocial applications, and other threats that can arise due to unregulated or reckless experimentation with unsafe, scientifically untenable, or theoretically unsound technologies."
President Ruto cited M-Pesa as a testament to the positive impact innovation can have when harnessed responsibly.
However, the President noted the public's enthusiastic embrace of the mobile phone-based cash transfer service, emphasizing how it swiftly gained popularity among businesses, leading to a shift towards cashless transactions.
"After rigorous debate, Kenya opted to face the future with courage, and M-Pesa became the legendary driver of trade, enterprise, and commerce that it has become," Ruto added.
The M-Pesa mobile payment system was launched in Kenya in 2007.
The revolutionary SIM-based method of making payments not only allowed for freedom from cash but also created a market independent from the conventional retail banking framework
According to Ruto, M-Pesa transactions amount to USD 1.2 billion daily, and now serves over 5 million enterprises and 61 million customers across eight countries.
President Ruto attributed M-Pesa's success to the constant endeavor to meet public demand by providing efficient solutions to problems and transforming challenges into opportunities.
"In Kenya, we understand that the soul of innovation is the constant endeavor to meet public demand by providing solutions to problems, efficiently delivering services, and transforming challenges into productive opportunities," he said.
Going further, the Head of State disclosed how Kenya has leveraged its digital revolution to transform public and private service delivery, enabling the government to reach more people, accelerate key sectors, achieve inclusion, and improve the well-being of all citizens, especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged.