Safaricom has announced plans to expand M-Pesa services to cover all African markets, apart from South Africa, where M-Pesa already failed and Tanzania, where the service is already doing well under its sister company Vodacom.
Safaricom Boss Bob Collymore said they expect to start with Nigeria and Angola before the end of the year, after being given ago ahead by the Kenyan Government, its second largest shareholder with a 35 per cent stake.
This move comes after Vodafone transferred its 35 percent shareholding in Safaricom to its majority-owned South African subsidiary Vodacom. According to Bob Collymore, the transfer will enable the telco to look at new new markets adding that South Africa wanted Vodacom to be the vehicle for Vodafone’s African expansion.
“For us, the obvious advantage is that it [the Vodafone/Vodacom deal] now gives us an opportunity to try some stuff overseas,” Mr Collymore was quoted by Reuters adding that Liberia, Ethiopia and Togo have been wooing Safaricom.
“The courtship started a little while ago. We are respected in Kenya as the mobile money country,” Collymore said.
M-Pesa is the world’s leading mobile money service. As of December 2016, the platform processed a record 614 million transactions and served almost 29.5 million active customers through a network of more than 287,400 agents.
M-Pesa is currently available in 10 countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania. with Kenya being the most successful market across the globe.
Other countries outside Africa where M-Pesa services are available include; Romania and India.