Paying Wages Direct to Mobile Accounts Trialled in Kenya

Money Transfer

A Vodafone report says mobile money payroll (mPayroll) could enable secure, cost-effective wage payments to be made to millions of unbanked workers by 2020, reducing corruption, lessening the risk of payday robbery and reducing the time spent travelling and waiting to receive cash wages.

mPayroll, one of the six mobile solutions identified in the report, will give people greater control over their finances, enabling simple onward payment of bills and remittances to family members using mobile money without having to pay 'cash-in' charges, says the report, commissioned by Vodafone with research undertaken by Accenture across 12 markets (DRC, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, India, Qatar, Lesotho, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Turkey).

mPayroll is already being implemented by Safaricom in Kenya, where mobile text payment service M-Pesa is paying exam supervisors across 60,000 schools. Recent research by USAID found these workers welcomed the time saved by not having to collect payments, the guarantee of being paid on time -- particularly in the rainy season when trucks carrying wages are often delayed - and the ability to be paid without a bank account. This has reduced the cost of making these payments to workers by 86 percent.

The report says mPayroll could be used by 48 million workers, as well as offer business savings of US$2.8 billion annually.