The sale of the M-Pesa brand by Vodafone Group to Vodacom Group and Safaricom, has been completed. The deal was first mentioned during the first half of 2019 by the late CEO of Safaricom, Bob Collymore.

Before the conclusion of this deal, Safaricom paid Vodafone in the UK royalties and license fees for every time M-Pesa was used on its network.

β€œThis is a significant milestone for Vodacom as it will accelerate our financial services aspirations in Africa. Our joint venture will allow Vodacom and Safaricom to drive the next generation of the M-PESA platform – an intelligent, cloud-based platform for the smartphone age. It will also help us to promote greater financial inclusion and help bridge the digital divide within the communities in which we operate," said Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group.

It goes without saying that M-PESA is the largest mobile money services in Africa with 40 million users. Added to that, it is reported to process over a billion transactions every month.

However, despite first being implemented in Kenya, it has always been the intellectual property of the UK's Vodafone since 2007. This was as a result of Vodafone owning M-PESA.

Patent: 2007, Vodafone Group Plc Mobile Account Management.

β€œFor Safaricom, we’re excited that the management, support and development of the M-Pesa platform has now been relocated to Kenya, where the journey to transform the world of mobile payments began 13 years ago. This new partnership with Vodacom will allow us to consolidate our platform development, synchronise more closely our product roadmaps, and improve our operational capabilities into a single, fully converged Centre of Excellence,” said Michael Joseph, outgoing Safaricom CEO.

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.

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