Vodafone Group has appointed M-Pesa pioneer Michael Joseph as its new managing director for mobile payments. Joseph was instrumental in establishing the M-Pesa money transfer service in Kenya, Tanzania and Afghanistan in his previous role as Safari Telecom’s chief executive. Safaricom is a Vodafone affiliate.
Already staking a claim to be the one of the most effective mobile money success stories to have graced the telecoms industry, Kenya’s M-Pesa service has now been extended to allow consumers access to interest-bearing saving accounts and the ability to take out small loans.
Indian bank ICICI Bank has partnered with Vodafone to launch the M-Pesa mobile payment service in India before the end of the year. The service will be provided by Vodafone India through its subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions. Under the M-Pesa brand, MCS will provide a mobile wallet service, while ICICI Bank will provide the mobile money account.
Kenyan operator Safaricom has partnered with retail chains Uchumi Supermarkets and Naivas, in order to give M-Pesa subscribers the ability to use the service to purchase goods in the stores.
One of three women on Kenyan operator Safaricom’s 12-strong senior management team, Betty Mwangi-Thuo is chief officer for new products. She oversees the firm’s value added service department, as well as all of its projects that intersect with the GSM Association.