Safaricom brings M-Pesa home

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Kenya’s largest telecommunication firm, Safaricom is on its final preparations to bring its mobile money platform M-Pesa home.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm announced early this week that the new platform will see M-Pesa servers relocated from Germany, where it has been hosted since its inception.

“This is a milestone moment for the M-Pesa platform as we embark on our final preparations ahead of the full migration process. We anticipate this new platform will unlock a new era of transformational mobile financial services,” Betty Mwangi, general manager of financial services at Safaricom said.

(READ MORE: Deepening financial inclusion in E.Africa)

The new platform which Safaricom has invested heavily on will enhance M-Pesa services and minimise service outages. The relocation of the servers, the telco said, begun two years ago with the hope of catering for its over 21 million M-Pesa subscribers.

“The consistent growth of M-pesa customers has necessitated a need for us to introduce a new platform at home to Kenya. It will enable faster delivery more flexibility and enhance businesses with M-Pesa and increase capacity,” Mwangi said.

“What this means is that we are not only offering faster speeds and more secure transactions to our customers, we are also creating the foundation for a more accessible system that will further enable the rapidly growing mobile money ecosystem in Kenya to continue to grow and be fuelled by locally created solutions.”

As it stands, Kenya accounts for 30 per cent of the world’s 61 million active mobile money users further deepening financial inclusion in the East African country. Moreover, since its launch in 2007, M-Pesa has become the most famous mobile money service in Africa and is said to have exceeded the reach of any other financial service in Kenya.

(WATCH VIDEO: Innovation within East Africa’s financial inclusion process)

Habil Olaka CEO of Kenya Bankers Association said during a past CNBC Africa event on financial inclusion in East Africa, “The biggest opponents to M-Pesa was coming from the banking sector and I think that was before banks realized that this is a platform that can be leveraged upon by the two parties to achieve their objectives so banks are leveraging on this to be able to access the huge client base.”