Alternative to Zelle for Sending Money to Mpesa in Kenya

February 7th, 2023 by Felix Cheruiyot

It is not easy to send Zelle to MPesa because of lack of interoperability. In this article, we evaluate in details how mobile money has played a bit role in Africa and how Zelle is connecting financial institutions in the US. We'll also share more about Zelle to MPesa alternative that you need to know so as to pay beneficiaries directly from your bank account or card and how beneficiaries can withdraw to their MPesa accounts.


The emergence of mobile money in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. With the advent of services that range from Zelle to MPesa, it has become increasingly easy for individuals and businesses to send and receive money using their smartphones. This article will take a closer look at the growth of mobile money in recent years, and will explore the potential for even more widespread adoption in the future, particularly in Africa. The article will examine the various factors that have contributed to the rise of mobile money, as well as the challenges that must be overcome in order to ensure continued growth in this sector. With the increasing use of mobile phones and the push for financial inclusion, mobile money is poised to play an even bigger role in the lives of people and businesses, especially in Africa in the coming years.

The Rise of Mobile Money in Kenya

The rise of mobile money in Kenya has been a striking development in the country's financial landscape. In the past decade, the use of mobile money has grown exponentially, with a majority of Kenyans now relying on this technology to carry out financial transactions. This can be attributed to a combination of factors including the widespread adoption of mobile phones, the push for financial inclusion, and the convenience and accessibility offered by mobile money services.

The extensive use of mobile phones has been one of the key factors in Kenya's expansion of mobile money. The Communications Authority of Kenya reports that as of December 2019, there were 47.5 million mobile phone subscriptions in the nation, with a penetration rate of 97%. Due to the increased use of mobile devices, more people can now access mobile money services, making transactions easier and more accessible.

The Kenyan government, along with the Central Bank of Kenya and the Ministry of ICT, has been making strides toward financial inclusion by pushing for greater access to financial services for all citizens, particularly those residing in rural areas. This has been achieved with the help of initiatives such as the Financial Sector Deepening program, which works to provide financial services to those who are unbanked or have limited access to banking. This has been a key contributor to the growth of mobile money in Kenya.

In 2007, Safaricom, Kenya's most extensive mobile network operator, rolled out M-Pesa, a mobile money service that has since become immensely popular. M-Pesa excels due to its vast network of agents that enables convenient deposits and withdrawals, as well as a variety of services, including bill payments and international money transfers.

The growth of mobile money in Kenya has also had a significant impact on the country's economy. Mobile money has contributed to increased economic activity as more people have access to financial services. Moreover, the industry has created jobs for thousands of Kenyans.

In Kenya, the use of mobile money has grown tremendously. The goal for financial inclusion and the increasing use of mobile phones have been major drivers of this technology's development. Now that most Kenyans utilize mobile money, it is obvious that this technology is here to stay. In the upcoming years, it's anticipated that the market would expand further as more consumers take advantage of mobile money's accessibility and ease.

Benefits of Mobile Money


From Zelle to MPesa, whether in Africa or Europe, mobile money allows individuals to conduct financial transactions without the need for a physical bank branch or ATM. This can be especially beneficial in areas where access to traditional banking infrastructure is limited. Transactions can be completed at any time and from any location with a mobile phone signal. Since mobile money is not tied to a physical location, it can also be much faster than traditional banking methods. This means that customers can pay for goods and services, transfer funds, or access loans almost immediately. Moreover, since customers are not limited to a particular location, they have much greater flexibility in choosing which service provider is best for them. Mobile money has revolutionized the way we do business and has enabled people in even the most remote locations to access financial services.

Financial inclusion

Mobile money can provide financial services to individuals and businesses that may not have had access to them before. This can include those who are unbanked or underbanked, as well as those living in remote or rural areas. By increasing access to financial services, mobile money can help to promote economic development and reduce poverty. It can also encourage financial inclusion, as individuals and businesses can access financial services that may otherwise be unavailable or unaffordable.


Mobile money transactions are often more secure than traditional cash transactions. Transactions are recorded and can be traced, making it more difficult for fraud to occur. Additionally, mobile money accounts can be password protected, providing an additional layer of security. Transactions can be set up to require two-factor authentication before completion, further protecting users from fraud and misuse. Mobile money transactions also typically have fraud protection, allowing users to be reimbursed if their money is stolen or misused.

Cost savings

Mobile money can help to reduce the cost of financial transactions. Transactions can be completed electronically, eliminating the need for physical cash and the costs associated with transporting and handling it. This can lead to cost savings for both individuals and businesses. With mobile money, businesses can avoid paying large amounts of money in transaction fees, allowing them to reinvest the savings in their operations. Furthermore, individuals can save money on the fees associated with transferring money and making payments.


Mobile money can make financial transactions more efficient by reducing the need for paperwork and physical documentation. Transactions can be completed quickly and easily, allowing for faster processing and decision-making. This can lead to increased productivity and economic growth. The use of mobile money also helps to reduce physical cash, which is often a target for theft or fraud. In addition, it can reduce the risk of money laundering, as it is easier to trace digital transactions than physical cash.

Easy to use

Mobile money platforms are user-friendly and easy to navigate. This makes it simple for individuals and businesses to conduct financial transactions, even if they have little prior experience with banking or finance. Mobile money platforms also make it possible to conduct transactions quickly and securely, giving users peace of mind that their data and money are safe. This is a feature that is especially appealing to those who are unfamiliar with the banking process and need reassurance. The use of digital wallets makes payments simpler, as the user can pay with a single click or swipe.

Access to credit

Mobile money platforms, where linked to financial institutions, can enable customers to access credit, pay their bills, and take loans without the need to visit the bank. These platforms allow for transactions across different networks and currencies, allowing people to be financially independent. The operations of the platforms are monitored by financial institutions, which provide customer account protection and data security. This in turn provides customers with a feeling of trust and reliability. These platforms offer customers access to a wide array of financial services, as well as a secure and convenient way to access their funds.

Better tracking of expenses

With mobile money, it is easier to track expenses and check account balances and transaction history, allowing for better budgeting and financial management. This not only improves an individual’s financial flexibility but also can have a positive impact on businesses. Merchants can better manage their cash flow, allowing for more efficient decision-making, and customers can take advantage of digital transactions to pay for goods and services. With mobile money, digital payments are both cost-efficient and secure because the user holds the private key, authorizing transactions. It also allows for improved customer service, as interactions with customers become more convenient and streamlined.

Challenges of Mobile Money

Limited scalability

Many mobile money platforms are designed for small-scale transactions, and may not be able to handle large-scale transactions or high volumes of traffic. This can limit the potential impact of mobile money on economic growth and development. For instance, it can make it difficult for businesses to use mobile money platforms for large-scale transactions or to process large volumes of payments. Furthermore, some of the more established mobile money platforms lack the flexibility to offer new features and services, making it harder for businesses to keep up with the changing demands of customers.


Some mobile money services are not interoperable with other systems, which can make it difficult for customers to access and move their money between different providers. The lack of interoperability across different mobile money platforms limits the potential for wider adoption of these services. To help address this issue, a number of countries are working to improve the interoperability of their mobile money services. This will help to promote the use of mobile money on a larger scale, as customers can easily access and move their money between different providers.

Financial literacy

To fully benefit from mobile money, individuals and businesses need to have a certain level of financial literacy. This includes understanding how to use a mobile phone for financial transactions, how to navigate mobile money platforms, and how to manage their finances effectively.

Without sufficient financial literacy, individuals and businesses may be unable to take full advantage of mobile money services. This could result in them being unable to take advantage of the low cost and convenience that mobile money offers. As a result, they may resort to other, more expensive, or less efficient means of transferring money or managing their finances.

Financial literacy enables individuals and businesses to make informed decisions when using mobile money services, and thus benefit from the advantages offered by these services. Therefore, it is important that financial literacy be promoted and encouraged so that individuals and businesses can use mobile money services to the fullest.

Cybersecurity concerns

As with any electronic system, mobile money platforms are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This can include hacking, phishing, and other forms of fraud. It is important for mobile money providers to implement robust security measures to protect customer data and transactions. This includes implementing strong authentication systems, encrypting data, and using advanced firewalls to prevent unauthorized access. It is also essential to have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place in the event of a cyber attack. This should include measures to mitigate any damage caused by the attack and to restore systems as quickly as possible. Also, customers should be made aware of the potential security risks associated with mobile money, and be given advice on how to protect themselves from cybercriminals.

The Future of Mobile Money in Africa

Mobile money has been a game-changer in Africa, enabling millions of people to access financial services who previously had no access to traditional banking. The future of mobile money in Africa looks bright, with many industry experts predicting continued growth and expansion in the coming years.

One major trend driving the future of mobile money in Africa is the increasing use of mobile money for other types of transactions beyond person-to-person payments. For example, mobile money is increasingly being used to pay utility bills, purchase airtime, and make other types of payments. This diversification of mobile money usage is expected to drive further growth in the industry.

The future of mobile money in Africa is also being shaped by government policies and regulations. Many African governments are actively promoting the use of mobile money as a way to increase financial inclusion and drive economic growth. For example, the Central Bank of Kenya recently issued new regulations aimed at promoting the use of mobile money and other digital financial services.

There is also a growing interest in mobile-based digital banking and digital financial services; these new services are expected to be more convenient and secure, as well as more accessible to people who are not currently served by traditional banking systems. This is expected to drive further growth in the mobile money industry in Africa.

Introducing IntaSend - Zelle to M-pesa Alternative

IntaSend has played a significant role in the growth of mobile money in Kenya. The platform allows users to transfer money, receive money, create no-code payment links and invoices, settle bulk disbursements, and many more. With the launch of a new app around the corner, IntaSend users have every right to be excited, and this only highlights IntaSend's pivotal role in the development of mobile money in the country.

While international digital payment providers have been making waves in Africa, especially in Kenya, there have been several complaints about limited financial services and a lack of enough customer support for users in the region, with PayPal being a very big culprit. However, with these big players failing to meet the demands of local users, IntaSend has stepped up quite heroically and has provided Kenyan users with the right financial services. IntaSend is the best PayPal alternative in Kenya, arguably the best alternative to other international payment platforms whose services are limited in the country.

If you’re a new visitor, then you most likely will need an IntaSend account, which you can create here in minutes, thanks to IntaSend’s feasible KYC.


The emergence of mobile money platforms; from Zelle to MPesa, has had a significant impact on the financial industry. These platforms have made it easier for individuals to manage their money and have played a key role in driving the growth of mobile money. As the mobile money industry continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovation and advancements in the space.

Cover Photo by Rubaitul Azad on Unsplash

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