Kenya's Safaricom in 'advanced talks' to take M-Pesa to Ethiopia

M-Pesa has close to 30 million users.

Britain’s Vodafone, Safaricom’s parent company, will license the use of the M-Pesa trade name to an Ethiopia-based bank while Safaricom will host the servers in Nairobi,a source intimated to the news agency.

Ethiopia’s state telecommunications monopoly, Ethio telecom, will carry the service, the source added.

Started in 2007, M-Pesa has close to 30 million users.

The mobile money service contributes 28 per cent of Safaricom’s service revenue from 20.9pc in FY 2015, highlighting its central position as a key growth driver alongside mobile data, and displacing traditional voice and SMS.

A number of Nairobi-based firms have in recent years expressed their interest in setting foot in Ethiopia owing to its huge population of over 100 million people and lack of economic development.

Ethiopia’s banking sector is currently state-controlled and dominated by Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, which holds around of 70 percent of assets in the sector.

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