Monday, 01 June 2020

Vodacom, Safaricom pick up M-Pesa

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Monday 06 April 20

Vodafone’s popular money service has finally changed hands

Last year, Vodafone struck a deal to sell its financial service platform M-Pesa to a joint venture from Vodacom and Safaricom. The financial details of the deal remain unclear, but it has been suggested by Safaricom that the platform is worth around $13 million.   Now, the deal has been completed…

Last year, Vodafone struck a deal to sell its financial service platform M-Pesa to a joint venture from Vodacom and Safaricom. The financial details of the deal remain unclear, but it has been suggested by Safaricom that the platform is worth around $13 million.
 
Now, the deal has been completed, leaving Safaricom and Vodacom in joint control of the money transferral and financing service. 
 
M-Pesa currently has 40 million customers working in Africa, with Vodacom and Safaricom hoping to expand this continental customer base.
 
“This is a significant milestone for Vodacom as it will accelerate our financial services aspirations in Africa,” said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO. “Our joint venture will allow Vodacom and Safaricom to drive the next generation of the M-PESA platform – an intelligent, cloud-based platform for the smartphone age. It will also help us to promote greater financial inclusion and help bridge the digital divide within the communities in which we operate.”
 
Last December, Vodafone was looking to expand the M-Pesa service throughout Africa, partially in an effort to unlock the financial potential of millions of ‘unbanked’ people on the continent. “I believe we can turn it into Africa’s largest unbanked bank,” Nick Read, Vodafone’s CEO, said at the time, and it seems Safricom and Vodacom will be continuing this broader strategy.
 
Breaking into the Ethiopian market was one such goal, which was estimated in December to be worth around $1.5 billion. However, moving M-Pesa into Ethiopia will have to remain a pipe dream, as the east African nation has on Thursday made a ruling that only locally-owned non-financial institutions may offer mobile money services.
 
While Ethiopia is slowly opening its doors to foreign telecoms investment, for now mobile financial services like M-Pesa will have to wait.
 

Also in the news:

Since you're here...

...the Telecoms industry is characterised by constant change and evolution. That's why it's crucial for telecoms professionals to keep up-to-date with what is happening. Join 35,000+ of your peers and sign up to our free newsletter service today, to be in the know about what is going on. PLUS, as a member you can submit your own press releases!

See all membership options

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Newsletter signup

Quickly get on board and up to date with the telecoms industry