Fiona Graham, Head of Content   08 September 2015

M-PESA has helped to facilitate mobile money bonds. Picture: Iain MacKenzie / WorldRemit

Kenya is launching the first ever mobile money treasury bond. 

The M-Akiba bond is being offered in partnership with M-Pesa, to give people who wouldn’t normally be able to invest this way the chance.

Treasury bonds are investments that are backed by the government, so are seen as being very secure. They pay out - or mature - after a fixed period of time.

They can be traded before the pay out date.

The minimum amount you can invest in bonds is normally Sh50,000, but this has been lowered to Sh3,000 for the M-Akiba issue.

The lengthy application process for opening a bond account is avoided too. When the bond matures, it will be paid out to an M-Pesa Mobile Money wallet.

The bond market up till now has really only been available to bankers or traders.

“In three weeks over 23 million Kenyans will have the potential to participate in a Sh5 billion Government Infrastructure Bond,” National Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich told Kenya’s Capital FM  

“This historical development is testament of our commitment to embrace innovation to democratize the uptake of government securities.”

Kenya has led the way in mobile wallet technology since the introduction of M-PESA.

“This announcement marks another important step towards the democratisation of finance through ordinary technology,” said Alix Murphy, senior mobile analyst at WorldRemit 

“We know that many Kenyans in the diaspora send money home to invest in their communities and their country. 

“For those living abroad, this innovation offers a whole new layer of investment opportunity, by enabling their remittances to go directly towards government bonds without needing to cash out the funds received on M-PESA wallets.”

You can read more here - Kenya to issue Sh5bn bond via M-Pesa