M-Pesa/Microsoft Pact Underscores Tech’s Role in Small Business Financial Inclusion

The recent announcement of joint efforts by Microsoft to build new financial services for businesses hints at a multipronged effort to boost financial inclusion, including financial inclusion for smaller businesses, leveraging the M-Pesa platform. As reported, the two firms will “offer digital services to the underserved SME market.”

The January news follows the October announcement from Microsoft that through its Africa Transformation Office and Microsoft Philanthropies program, it had partnered with M-Pesa to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, in part by helping them access bank accounts, loans and insurance digitally. The platform itself processes tens of millions of transactions and more than $1 billion in value daily.