Safaricom’s hugely successful M-Pesa mobile payments service may be under threat as Kenyan law makers look to change banking and communications legislation to force Safaricom to separate the financial unit from its communications operations. The company has effectively been providing banking services without the requisite banking licence. M-Pesa, ‘m-money’ in Swahili, launched in Kenya in 2007 and is currently up and running in 10 countries, boasting 30 million users. The system processed some 6 billion transactions during 2016.
“M-Pesa is a revolution that has empowered tens of millions of people in some of the poorest communities in the world to start and grow businesses and gain greater financial resilience,” says Vodafone Group MD of M-Pesa, Michael Joseph.
Nigeria’s Wema Bank has launched its new Wema Bank on Wheels branch, a truck kitted out with two ATMs and powered by solar energy. The bank says the new mobile branch enables it to provide a visible banking presence at lower cost, particularly in underserved markets. The Bank on Wheels is on the road around Nigeria, and customers can contact their nearest branch for information on the mobile service’s travel schedule.