M-PESA mobile money coming to SA

Vodafone yesterday announced that it is bringing M-PESA, a mobile money transfer services, to South Africa, to be deployed by its subsidiary, Vodacom South Africa.

“With approximately 26 million people in South Africa without official bank accounts, M-PESA will enable millions of mobile phone subscribers who have access to a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account, to send and receive money via their mobile phones,” Vodafone said in a press statement.

The M-PESA service was developed by Vodafone and has been deployed by Safaricom in Kenya, Vodacom in Tanzania and Roshan in Afghanistan (branded M-Paisa). More than 11 million registered customers now rely on their mobile phones for money transfer, airtime top-up and bill payments.

“Mobile technology in Africa has already improved the lives of millions simply by allowing them to communicate far beyond their immediate surroundings,” said Cenk Serdar, Director of Mobile Payments at Vodafone Group.

“It is now set to transform the way we send and receive cash. The successful take-up of M-PESA in Kenya has clearly demonstrated the demand for easily accessible, secure payment services particularly in emerging markets.

“There are many benefits of using mobile phones for micro-transactions in a country like South Africa, where only 60% of people have a bank account in the formal sector, and yet the mobile penetration rate amongst the total adult population is more than 94%.”

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M-PESA mobile money coming to SA