Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) 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, first announced in 2019, gives 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.
Nick Read, Vodafone Group’s CEO, said: “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.”
M-PESA is the largest payments platform on the African continent, it has 40 million users and processes over a billion transactions every month. M-PESA is operational in Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique and Egypt.
Currently, around 25% of all M-PESA customers have access to a smartphone – a figure that is growing by 10% every year.
The disposal of the M-PESA brand, support and product development services to Vodacom and Safaricom is broadly financially neutral for Vodafone Group.