Vodafone Mull Expanding M-Pesa Beyond Africa Operations

Safaricom says its future maintenance and upgrades on its mobile money platform M-Pesa will drastically be reduced to remain successful by driving efficiency, ensuring reliability and improving sustainability.

Mobile operator Vodafone Group Plc in a trading update for its fiscal Q1 reported strong growth in Africa.

This was driven by its financial platform M-Pesa which saw its transaction volumes increase 45 per cent year-on-year processing almost 4.5 billion transactions.

“These are staggering numbers for a platform that’s number one in every market we’re in,” Vodafone CEO Nick Read said.

Read hinted at the possibility of expanding M-Pesa both geographically and in terms of the product set.

“There is an opportunity to take M-Pesa out of our footprint in Africa, while we’re also looking at the journey from feature phones to smartphones and mini-apps for things like savings, microloans and insurance,” Read told reporters on Friday after reading Vodafone’s first-quarter results. 

Currently, the M-Pesa platform offers peer-to-peer transactions in countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Lesotho.

However, he said it was logical to keep M-Pesa within the telecommunications group for now

“We really need to start separating this business into a legal entity and have complete transparency,” said Read. “This will allow us other opportunities going forward.”

In 2020, Safaricom and South Africa’s Vodacom, completed the acquisition of mobile money platform M-Pesa from Britain’s Vodafone.