Vodacom and Safaricom joint venture to accelerate M-Pesa expansion
Vodacom and Safaricom announce that they have completed the acquisition of the M-PESA brand, product development and support services from 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.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, said: “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.”
Michael Joseph, outgoing Safaricom CEO said: “For Safaricom, we’re 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 13 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.”
Nick Read, Vodafone Group’s CEO, said: “M-PESA is hugely successful and enables millions of unbanked people in Africa to transfer money, pay bills and trade. It benefits communities and helps create a multitude of small and micro-business ventures. However, with the rapid increase in smartphone penetration, the evolution into financial services and the potential for geographical expansion, we believe the next step in M-PESA’s African growth will be more effectively overseen by Vodacom and Safaricom.”
M-PESA is the largest payments platform on the African continent, it has 40 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 25% of all M-PESA customers have access to a smartphone – a figure that is growing by 10% every year.
The disposal of the M-PESA brand, support and product development services to Vodacom and Safaricom is broadly financially neutral for Vodafone Group.
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About Vodafone Group
Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading telecoms and technology service providers. We have extensive experience in connectivity, convergence and the Internet of Things, as well as championing mobile financial services and digital transformation in emerging markets.
Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 23 countries, partners with mobile networks in 42 more, and fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. As of 31 December 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers and 22 million TV customers, including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.
Vodacom is a leading African communications company providing a wide range of communication services, including mobile voice, messaging, data, financial and converged services to over 117 million (including Safaricom) customers. From our roots in South Africa, we have grown our mobile network business to include operations in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho and Kenya. Our mobile networks cover a population of over 291 million people. Through Vodacom Business Africa (VBA), we offer business managed services to enterprises in 50 countries. Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone (60.5% holding), one of the world’s largest communications companies by revenue.
Safaricom transforms lives.
We provide voice, data, financial services and enterprise solutions for a range of customers, small businesses and government, using a variety of platforms. We delight over 34.5 million customers, providing over 200,000 touch points for our customers and offering over 100 different products under our portfolio.
Listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and with annual revenues in excess of KES 200 Billion, Safaricom invested KES 38 billion in infrastructure this year, providing over 93% of Kenya’s population with 4G and 3G coverage and providing 2G coverage to 96% of Kenyans. Safaricom has harnessed its proprietary fibre infrastructure to build a dedicated enterprise business, which provides managed I.T. services to clients in the East African region.
Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful service of its kind anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007, M-PESA now has over 23.6 million active customers and over 176,000 M-PESA Agent outlets countrywide.
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