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Kenya’s leading mobile operators acquire money transfer service firm

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Kenya’s leading mobile operators, Safaricom and South Africa’s Vodafone have completed the acquisition of popular mobile money transfer service, MPESA brand from Britain’s Vodafone, through a newly-created joint venture.

The transaction, which was first announced in 2019, will accelerate M-PESA’s growth in Africa by giving both Vodacom and Safaricom full control of the M-PESA brand, product development and support services as well as the opportunity to expand M-PESA into new African markets.

“This is a significant milestone for Vodacom as it will accelerate our financial services aspirations in Africa. 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,” said Vodacom Group CEO, Shameel Joosub.

Outgoing Safaricom CEO, Michael Joseph, said in a statement on Tuesday, 7 April 2020 that they are excited that the management, support, and development of the M-PESA platform has now been relocated to Kenya, where the journey to transform the world of mobile payments began thirteen years ago.

“This new partnership with Vodacom will allow us to consolidate our platform development, synchronise more closely our product roadmaps, and improve our operational capabilities into a single, fully converged Centre of Excellence,” he noted.

“We believe the next step in M-PESA’s African growth will be more effectively overseen by Vodacom and Safaricom,” said Vodafone Group’s CEO, Nick Read.

M-PESA is the largest payments platform on the African continent, it has fourty million users and processes over a billion transactions every month.

M-PESA is operational in Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, and Egypt.

Currently, around twenty-five percent of all M-PESA customers have access to a smartphone – a figure that is growing by ten percent every year.



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