A survey to determine the product characteristics that influenced the rapid adoption of M-Pesa in Kenya
M-PESA is a mobile money transfer service in Kenya offered by a mobile telephony service provider known as Safaricom. Since its inception M-PESA had realized vast growth both usage and popularity across the country. This was in resonance with the spread of mobile phones in money transfer across the developing world as one of the most remarkable technology stories of the past decade. There was also little or no research that had been done focusing on the product characteristics that had led to the adoption of M-PESA. This study objective was therefore to identify what product characteristics led to the rapid adoption of M-PESA in Kenya. The purpose of the proposed study was to provide valid and credible data on product characteristics that led to the rapid adoption of M-PESA in Kenya. The findings would enable developing countries in emerging markets, development partners, policymakers and even regulators grasp the dynamic economic system and characteristics that had led to high adoption of money transfer technology in Kenya. The study results would also help regulators as they came up with legislation to ensure that customers as well as mobile operators are protected from any risks associated with the service. To achieve the intended results, I used primary data collection since we had more than fifteen million customers using M-PESA at the time of my data collection. The target population was the customers who used and those who operated M-PESA (the agents). The population of the study was from Nairobi Kenya as a result of budgetary and time constraints. The study used a sample size of one hundred respondents who were selected using purposive sampling. Primary data collection was done using questionnaire and data analysis was done using descriptive statistics. The respondents were drawn from different demographics touching on gender, education level, and age among others. The study found that indeed M-PESA had been wide spread in the country. The most distinctive factors were that it had relative advantage in terms of simplicity, innovations, safety, and communication both from and to the service among others. The study also revealed various challenges faced by M-PESA despite its breakthrough which were highlighted as areas of improvements. The most notable ones were: - The service provider was challenged to provide stability in their system and the networks in general, curb fraudsters, faster resolution of customer queries, doubling of the transaction limits among others as detailed in the study.