Telecom Services

Kenya: M-Pesa Dismisses Claim Of Rift From Safaricom Partnership

Kenyan mobile operator, Safaricom, has dismissed claims that they will be parting ways from its mobile phone-based money transfer service, payments, and micro-financing partner M-Pesa.  

Addressing the speculations at the Africa Financial Industry Summit 2021, interim CEO of M-Pesa Africa Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said, the new joint venture between M-Pesa, Safaricom and Vodacom is deep-rooted.  It has been created with the intention of being the most extensive Fintech product in Africa. Therefore, talks of separation are incorrect.

Although Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill is looking at amending its bill regarding the classification of companies that offer products that are seen to be outside of the telecommunication industry, M-Pesa is planning to launch in multiple regions in West Africa depending on product-market fit. It views the amendment bill as a mere attempt to split Safaricom from the M-Pesa brand.

Lopokoiyit projects an increase of third-party developers on the M-Pesa platform from 29 000 to over 100 000. The view is based on the company's focus on increasing access withing the online payment space via APIs. M-Pesa plans to create an app that will feature other services such as deliveries, ride-hailing, e-commerce and utility payment.

With the upgrades in mind, M-Pesa is said to have the potential to reach 40 million customers. Currently, M-Pesa accessible is in DRC, Egyp, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

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