Vodacom and Nedbank today announced a joint initiative to bring M-PESA, the biggest global success story in mobile money, to South Africa. M-PESA is an innovative mobile money solution which has already seen enormous success in other African markets, as well as in Afghanistan; enabling even unbanked customers to transfer money from person to person using a cellphone. As Vodacom’s preferred banking partner in the project, Nedbank has engaged proactively with the banking regulator, ensuring that the initiative will meet all requirements set out by the South African Reserve Bank.
Shameel Joosub, Managing Director, Vodacom South Africa, said: ‘Nedbank is the ideal financial services partner for this venture. With their proven track record of providing financial services to those who are traditionally unable to afford it and their innovative approach to banking, we know they will bring a new dimension to the project. Both Nedbank and Vodacom are confident that M-PESA is going to change the lives of “unbanked” South Africans and we are looking forward to the imminent launch of the product.’
Saks Ntombela, Managing Executive, Nedbank Retail, said: ‘As a bank for all South Africans’, we are delighted to be a part of this innovative, simple money transfer product which offers easy access to funds. We are particularly excited about this offering being attractive to the previously unbanked population who are not yet part of the formal banking system. Nedbank strives to understand our customers’ needs and is committed to then ensure that what we deliver is a financial product that is easy to use. This illustrates a shared vision between Nedbank and Vodacom.’
Added Joosub, ‘M-PESA has a successful track record in other markets. With the backing of Nedbank and Vodafone, as well as the power of the public’s trust in the Vodacom brand, all of the signs are there that M-PESA is going to revolutionise the way South Africans transfer, share and spend their money.’
The M-PESA service was originally created as a pilot funded jointly by Vodafone and the UK Department for International Development [DFID] Financial Deepening Challenge Fund. Since then, the service has proved immensely successful in the Kenya, Tanzania and Afghanistan markets with more than 10 million M-PESA customers. Vodafone first announced its intentions to repeat its success in South Africa at the GSMA Mobile World conference in Barcelona earlier this year.