Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


The recent and widespread availability of affordable mobile phone technology in developing countries has paved the way for the development of a number of mobile money and electronic remittance services. One of the most successful of these services is Safaricom’s M-PESA program, launched in the East African nation of Kenya in March 2007. Since then, the program has successfully enrolled 15.2 million users, transferred more than US$1.4 trillion in electronic funds, and contributed significantly to poverty alleviation and financial inclusion efforts in rural Kenya. This Article seeks to trace the development of M-PESA in Kenya, provide a snapshot of the Kenyan implementation of and experience with the program, and consider the role that services like M-PESA might play in national and international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts.

First Page