M-PESA is one of the best innovations of the 21st century but no one knows who invented the mobile money transfer service. The man who came up with the idea is still mysterious …but Safaricom takes all the credit.
It is alleged that the idea came from a JKUAT student who was doing his project. During the process, he realized it could be a good idea. He then presented it to Safaricom to be tested.
After the testing was complete, Michael Joseph, who was then the CEO of the telecom company, implemented the idea.
The student who came up with the idea was given some few coins as “thank you”… and off he went.
Another theory explains that the M-PESA idea originated from German but few people were ready to use it.
Now, even if you claim to be the brain behind M-PEASA,as long as you didn’t sign any agreement and acquire a patent, nobody will listen to you. In business, a patent is very important, and in the case of M-PESA ,Safaricom takes the credit.
Mark Zuckerberg,the founder and CEO of Facebook knew the importance of a patent, which is why he rushed to secure his before anyone claimed ownership of the social media handle.Also,Microsoft founder, Billy Gates did the same.
The case of Safaricom and M-PESA is reason enough to train innovators, especially Kenyans, on the important of patents.