M-Pesa division will now operate under a newly set up independent company known as VCL financial Services Vodacom revealed. The move comes on the back of the launch of M -Pesa’s super app. The new company has received the backings of the Central Bank and will be a licensed financial services provider owned by Vodacom Lesotho.
Speaking on the latest development, Mohale Ralebitso, Managing Director for Vodacom Lesotho, said, “M-Pesa has come so far as a revolutionary financial services and driver of financial inclusion and economic empowerment. Initially, only two products were available, now we offer everything from savings and insurance products to cross-border transfers and ticketing, amongst others.”
“What’s more, we now have over 8,000 agents and more than 3,000 merchants across the country. Given M-Pesa’s phenomenal success, even against the backdrop of global economic decline, the natural next step was to make M-Pesa an independent entity, ensuring that it is well-positioned to deliver on its growth ambitions,” he added.
M-Pesa was launched in 2013, and in less than a decade, the company has seen its customer’s base grow from 1900 customers to over 1 million, with monthly transaction values exceeding LSL 1 billion. Currently, M-Pesa is Africa’s leading mobile money service with more than 430,000 active agents operating across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
The latest move to make M-Pesa an independent company means that Palesa Mphunyetsane, who was the executive head of M-Pesa, will be at the helm of affairs in VCL Financial Services.
According to Palesa Mphunyetsane, “This will see us bringing more solutions to the market, helping to address a number of societal challenges regarding payments and collections. Our focus will be on savings and investments and investments; lending solutions for individuals and small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs); wealth management, payments and collections, and the digitization of services. From a customer point of view, all branding, support structures, contacts and infrastructure will remain the same.”
“Basotho have been able to send and receive money, buy airtime and bundles, pay for utility bills, create savings groups and perform international money transfers, all thanks to M-Pesa. We look forward to the next milestone in our journey and can’t wait for customers to see what our expanded solutions portfolio has to offer, and how it will transform their lives for the better,” he added.
The new company will place significant emphasis on ensuring that enhanced governance and controls are put in place, through the establishment of various departments, including risk, internal auditing, and anti-money laundering and by strengthening strategic partnerships with relevant institutions.