Vodacom: M-Pesa is a Disappointment in South Africa

Many countries have been impressed by the uptake of mobile banking in Kenya. That has made the countries so much admire the service and want to implement it. In August 2010, Vodacom South Africa launched the service. Now Pieter Uys, Vodacom group CEO, says that M-Pesa has failed to live up to Vodacom’s expectations in SA.

Mr Uys says that Vodacom has registered “over” 100 000 M-Pesa clients in South Africa since its launch. This is not what Vodacom expected. At the launch last year, Vodacom say it expected to register not less than 10m M-Pesa customers within three years. That figure was ambitious since South Africa has 13 Million unbanked.

In Tanzania, M-Pesa has 1,5m active and 7m registered users. Safaricom has close to 13 Million clients in M-Pesa. Mr Uys says that maybe the better banking environment in SA has led to this.

Vodacom CEO still “strongly believe” that M-Pesa will make a great impact in South Africa. Vodacom CEO, Mr Uys, says the company is making some changes to M-Pesa which will make it gain traction in SA. The service was launched in SA in partnership with NedBank.

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (


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