Safaricom and Vodacom have jointly acquired the M-PESA brand, product development, and support services platform.
This deal was first announced in 2019 to accelerate the growth of M-PESA in Africa by giving Safaricom and Vodacom full control of the brand as well as the opportunity to expand the services in the new African markets.
“This is a substantial milestone for Vodacom as it will accelerate our financial services aspirations in Africa. The 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,” said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.
He added that the move would help Vodacom to promote great financial inclusion and bridge the digital gap within the communities in which it operates.
The outgoing Safaricom CEO, Michael Joseph, expressed delight for the relocation of the management, development, and support of the M-PESA platform to Kenya, where the voyage to transform the global mobile payment started thirteen years ago.
Joseph said that their new partnership with Vodacom would enable Safaricom to consolidate its platform development, improve the operational capabilities into a unified and fully converged Center of Excellence.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said that through the rapid increase in the use of smartphones, the potential for geographical expansion and evolution in financial services would accelerate the growth of M-PESA in the African market.
“With the rapid increase in smartphone penetration, the evolution into financial services, and the potential for geographical expansion, we believe Vodacom and Safaricom will more effectively oversee the next step in M-PESA’s African growth,” he said.
M-PESA presently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo with over 40 million users and more than a billion transactions every month.
Safaricom also offers M-PESA global, a service that enables registered customers to send and receive money from any part of the world. Through this service, M-PESA customers can send funds using Skrill, SkyForex, Western Union, WorldRemit, XendPay, and Xpress Money.