Socio-economic Effects of Mpesa Adoption on the Livelihoods of People in Bureti Sub County, Kenya
Njeru, Samuel Gitonga
Abura, Gilbert Odilla
Gikunda, Raphael Mwiti
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MPesa is a mobile phone based money transfer system in Kenya which grew at a blistering pace following its inception in 2007. Its adoption is country wide; both in the urban and rural areas. Mpesa enables the users to send money in electronic form, store money on a mobile phone in an electronic account and deposit or withdraw money in the form of hard currency at any of the Mpesa agents, pay bills and purchase goods and services. The purpose of the study was to identify socio-economic effects of Mpesa adoption on the livelihoods of people in Bureti Sub County. The study adopted a survey research design. The sample of study comprised of 105 Mpesa owners and operators selected purposively from three divisions: Roret; Cheborge, and Buret. Data for this study was obtained mainly from primary sources collected using a structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was used to test hypotheses. Among the respondents 54% were male and 46% were female. The results indicate that majority (45%) of the Mpesa shops had been in operational between 2 and 3 years. The study established a positive correlation between Mpesa and creation of employment (correlation coefficient of 0.334), Mpesa and access to credit facilities with a coefficient of 0.141 and, Mpesa and income generation with a coefficient of 0.356. This shows that Mpesa operation had improved peoples’ livelihood in Bureti Sub County by creating employment opportunities, increasing income generation, access to credit facilities and social capital between families and friends. In order to fully tap the benefits of Mpesa in the area, its services should be extended to all parts of the Sub-County, as well as widening the scope of banking services to include provision of micro credits to customers.