Safaricom facing call to break-up business

22 FEB 2017

Safaricom could be forced to separate its m-Pesa mobile money service from its communications business if Kenya’s government approves new laws, Reuters reported.

Amendments to banking and communications regulations were proposed by Kenyan national assembly member Jakoyo Midiwo in an attempt to force the company to split the two segments of its business.

Midiwo told Reuters changes in regulations were in part needed as Safaricom is offering financial services without a specific banking licence. The operator’s m-Pesa service is regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.

In order for the changes in the law to be accepted, they must be approved by the Kenyan Parliament and signed-off by the President. Midiwo said if his amendments fail to receive the necessary support, he would attempt to introduce the rules at a later date.

Safaricom is the dominant mobile provider in Kenya with a 69 per cent market share, GSMA Intelligence figures show. According to the country’s communications authority, Safaricom’s m-Pesa service held a 66 per cent share of the country’s thriving mobile money market as of September 2016, a sector which includes payments, transfers and corporate banking.

During December 2016, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (pictured, centre) revealed plans to further extend its m-Pesa service through new partnerships.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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