Forex brokers that accept M-Pesa offer the opportunity to deposit and withdraw funds from a forex account using the M-Pesa payment channel. The M-Pesa payment channel is particularly popular in Kenya and Tanzania, but its popularity is also increasing throughout Afghanistan, Mozambique and India. M-Pesa is coined from a Swahili term: “m” stands for “mobile” and “pesa” stands for “money”. M-Pesa is a mobile payment method set up by Vodafone’s Kenyan partner, Safaricom as a means of transferring payments using mobile phone technology.
This payment solution was devised as a means of helping unbanked populations get financial inclusion. Most payment channels on forex platforms require access to conventional banking methods. Without financial inclusion, the unbanked are locked out of this market. For the large unbanked populations in Africa and other areas, M-Pesa has changed this narrative and offers access to the forex market via forex brokers that accept M-Pesa on their platforms.
What Forex Brokers accept M-Pesa
The number of forex brokers that accept M-Pesa for deposits and withdrawals is still relatively low. Despite this fact, some big international forex brokers offering good trading conditions already do support using M-Pesa. Here is a list of some of the most popular brokers that allow forex trading and support the use of M-Pesa as a funding method.
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¹ Variable spreads vary according to the current market conditions, recorded for EUR/USD on 06.05.2020 at 10:42 GMT+1.
* Available to traders outside the European Economic Area.
Why Forex Brokers accept M-Pesa?
Forex brokerage services were not originally offered to many emerging market economies until a full decade after the market was deregulated in 1997. Therefore, some of the peculiarities of the traditional financial systems of these economies were not accommodated in the design of payment channels for forex trading. The use of credit cards, bank wires and e-wallets all depends on the users within the target markets, owning and operating bank accounts. Given that some countries in Africa have unbanked populations that are as high as 85%, forex brokers that target such market using conventional payment channels typically miss out on a huge segment of their target market. Some FX brokers have realized this and are now offering payment channels that are specifically tailored towards the unbanked populations in these underserved countries. This is how M-Pesa came to be used as a payment channel that targets countries where there is a good penetration of mobile technology without commensurate financial inclusion. Ironically, some of these countries have large populations of people who already operate in the online gaming niche, where M-Pesa features prominently. While nearly 50% of the whole population of Kenya has an MPesa account, in other African countries, such as Ghana, Rwanda, or Tanzania often dominate other mobile money providers such as Airtel Money, MTN Mobile Money, Tigo Pesa, Ecocash or Orange Money.
M-Pesa As a Funding Method
M-Pesa targets the unbanked populations and is a form of mobile money. It enables the user to use his or her phone number as the account number. Typically, the regulators of the communications industry mandate the telecom companies to register all SIM card owners in a country using biometric registration methods. Therefore, a phone number can be assigned to an individual with a biometric stamp, ensuring that the number is unique to the individual and cannot be duplicated anywhere else. This process in itself enhances the Know-Your-Customer requirements that forex brokers must fulfil when onboarding a new client.
The user then registers on the M-Pesa platform and is assigned a unique set of login details. Verification of the user’s identity and address is done through submission of a government-issued ID card and other relevant documents.
Benefits of FX Brokers That use M-Pesa
The benefits of using an FX broker that accepts M-Pesa are as follows:
- a) Very fast deposits and withdrawals: Transaction times are very fast, as transfers are done instantly.
- b) It is cashless, which means that traders do not need to carry large amounts of money. In countries with high denomination notes and high exchange rates to the US Dollar, this is very convenient.
Drawbacks of FX Brokers That use M-Pesa
What are the drawbacks of using forex brokers that accept using M-Pesa?
- a) The initial verification process can be strenuous
- b) The use of M-Pesa is not widely available on forex platforms. This narrows the user’s choice of brokers.
Choosing a Forex Broker That Accepts M-Pesa
Presently, not many forex brokers accept M-Pesa on their platforms, but the list is growing. You can either use one of the brokers listed above in which we verified they support M-Pesa payment system or you can use online forums and other information sources to find out what the experience of other users of M-Pesa forex brokers have been. Also, pay attention to other parameters to gauge the broker’s performance. You can do some test transactions to see how easy it is to make a deposit or withdraw funds from a set of M-Pesa compliant forex brokers. You can also check out the quality of customer service from your first interaction with the forex broker as a prospect. Using these methods, you will find a forex broker that accepts M-Pesa that is good for you.