Safaricom of Kenya Talking to Banks to Grow Mobile Money
Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s largest company by market value, is in talks with 19 banks in the East African nation to increase users of its mobile-money transfer platform, Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore said after the company posted higher annual profits.
Safaricom’s M-Pesa product — which offers services including money transfers, loans, betting and bill payments — had transactions worth 5.29 trillion shillings ($52.6 billion) in the year through March, equivalent to 85 percent of the total national economic output.
“Nineteen banks are now doing real-time payments,” Collymore said in an interview in the capital, Nairobi. Previously, merchants had to wait two days before payments reflected in their accounts.
The banks were also keen to incorporate Safaricom’s mobile savings and loans product, similar to the one the telecom company has with two lenders; Commercial Bank of Africa and KCB Group Ltd., Collymore said. The company that’s 40 percent owned by Newbury, England-based Vodafone Group, made 41.5 billion shillings from M-Pesa, about a fifth of Safaricom’s overall revenue.