M-Pesa boss shrugs off Safaricom split concerns, sees opportunities

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

“To be honest, I do not lie awake thinking about the challenges rather the opportunities we still have to deliver on,” Safaricom’s director for financial services and head of M-Pesa Ronald Webb told the Star in an interview. This was in response to proposed legislation to split the operations of telecommunications firm from mobile money transfer services.

“An enormous positive impact on the Kenyan economy is what we are most proud of…”

Safaricom marked 10 years since the launch of M-Pesa on March 6, 2007 by UK’s Vodafone, which holds a 40 per cent stake in East and Central Africa’s most profitable company.

Days to the 10th anniversary of the world’s most successfully mobile money transfer service, two similar developments surfaced.

A draft report commissioned by Kenya’s telecoms regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya, was leaked and published in one of the dailies on February 23. The document, by UK’s research and advisory firm Analysys Mason, is said to have recommended the separation of M-Pesa from Safaricom because the firm is too dominant.

Separately, National Assembly deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo on March 1 proposed amendments to the Kenya Information Communication Act with a view to splitting the two entities. Midiwo argues that Safaricom is offering banking services without proper licensing.

Source: The Star (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, fintech, telecommunications