Safaricom mulls making M-Pesa a subsidiary

Safaricom mulls making M-Pesa a subsidiary

Safaricom is considering spinning off its M-Pesa mobile money division into a full subsidiary, in what seems to be a push to align with more traditional banking institutions. 

Chairman Michael Joseph said there is no timetable for the potential move as the move is in the “early stages of thinking only”, he told Reuters.

Governor of the central bank of Kenya Patrick Njoroge said the move would ring-fence M-Pesa from the operations of the wider business, reported The Standard.

He noted the move seems to be a potential trend among telecom operators as doing so shows further progression for the digital financial services, and in turn, provides more protection for consumers.

There are 30 million M-Pesa users in Kenya as the country makes more than half of the total customer base in Africa which is 51 million.

Business Daily reported Safaricom has increased its market share to 99.9% according to data from Kenya’s central bank.

In the least three years, the company has accrued total mobile money transactions to a value of KES2.206 trillion (US$19.2 billion) out of KES2.208 trillion, eating into shares from rivals Airtel Money and T-Kash from Telkom.

Safaricom’s rivals have accused the operator of abusing its dominant position and are calling for regulatory intervention to spur competition.

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