Kenya’s biggest telco, Safaricom, is in “advanced talks” with the Ethiopian government to introduce its popular M-Pesa mobile money service to the country. The country is a potentially lucrative market with 100 million people.
Safaricom’s parent company, Britain-based Vodafone, will license the use of the M-Pesa trade name to an Ethiopia-based bank while Safaricom will host the servers in Nairobi, according to an industry source to Reuters. Ethiopia’s state telecommunications monopoly, Ethio telecom, will carry the service.
M-Pesa has nearly 30 million users in Kenya since its launch in 2007. It is a major contributor to Safaricom’s revenues, accounting for a third of the total.