Safaricom and Vodacom have announced 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 says the partnership is a significant milestone for Vodacom as it will accelerate their 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 Joosub.
On his part, Michael Joseph, outgoing Safaricom CEO said the new partnership with Vodacom will allow them to consolidate their platform development, synchronise more closely their product roadmaps, and improve their operational capabilities into a single, fully converged Centre of Excellence.
“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.” Said Joseph.
Nick Read, Vodafone Group’s CEO, noted: “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.”