Safaricom sets up ops centre as M-Pesa goes into cloud
M-Pesa, the pioneering mobile money platform run by Safaricom and the Vodacom group, is now run from a cloud operations centre in Kenya.
The development comes as Safaricom’s operation in neighbouring Ethiopia is thought to be on the verge of launching M-Pesa services.
Shameel Joosub (pictured), CEO of the Vodacom group, said: “Financial services remain a priority for us as we drive financial and digital inclusion on the continent. The launch of this operations centre is an important milestone and testament to our commitment to continue delivering innovative and cost-effective personal finance and business solutions that were previously difficult and cumbersome to acquire, further supporting us in connecting the next 100 million African customers.”
The Vodacom group is part of the Vodafone family, and both Vodafone and Vodacom are shareholders in Safaricom Ethiopia.
M-Pesa in Kenya, its original base, processed $366 billion in transactions in 2022. That is more than three times Kenya’s gross domestic product, $110 billion, and is almost half of all African mobile money transactions, put by the GSMA at $701 billion.
M-Pesa Africa, a financial services subsidiary of Vodacom and Safaricom, said they had inaugurated a shared services operations centre in Nairobi, at a cost of $2 million.
It will support M-Pesa’s operations in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Lesotho and Ghana, and will servce future markets.
Safaricom said the new operations centre would “oversee service operations and technical support including incident monitoring and resolution, managing platform changes and upgrades, deployment of new features and capacity management, and coordination with technical vendors”.
According to the GSMA, the number of active mobile money subscribers in Africa grew from 161 million to 184 million between 2020 and 2021.
The Ecofin Agency says that M-Pesa is transitioning to a cloud-based platform. The strategy ultimately aims to have “one M-Pesa”, providing a single platform and unified operations across all its markets.