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Safaricom’s former chief launches M-Pesa in Europe

Kenya , 02 Apr 2014

Safaricom’s former chief launches M-Pesa in Europe

Kenya's mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa, has officially been launched in Europe, after Safaricom’s former chief executive officer, Michael Joseph, launched the service in Romania.

This marks the first time the successful mobile money transfer service is launched in that country via Vodafone Romania, a subsidiary of Vodafone Group, which also owns 40% of Kenya’s Safaricom.

Currently the director for mobile money at Vodafone, Joseph said that the company was aiming to sign up about six million of its customers in the country, who will be able to transact anything between $0.3 and $9000 per day.

“Vodafone M-Pesa is already used regularly by nearly 17 million customers globally and we look forward to bringing the significant benefits of the service to the people of Romania,” he said.

Joseph was optimistic that the service uptake will be positive, adding that Vodafone was banking on the fact that Romania has over a third of its 23 million population without access to conventional banking.

“Vodafone M-Pesa can be activated at any one of around 300 Vodafone Romania stores and participating retail outlets as well as through authorised agents, and will be accessible to approximately six million people in both rural and urban areas,” he added.

The company aims to increase subscription to the service by signing up about 2,000 retail and distribution agents in the country by the end of the year.

M-Pesa remains one of Safaricom’s-and consequently Vodafone’s - greatest success innovation story since it was launched in Kenya back in 2007. The service raked in $256 million in profits for Kenya’s Safaricom in the last financial year.

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