Mpesa money transfer, the world’s leading mobile money transfer system is far from elegant against other tech products according to head of Safaricom, Bob Collymore.
Speaking to an audience in New York on Oct. 17, Bob Collymore, said the future of MPesa, lies in changing the service’s “clumsy” technology.
Bob Collymore hopes to make Mpesa money transfer into something more efficient, innovative, and collaborative innovation.
Collymore said, a lot of work needs to be done to keep up in the fast moving technology industry. He added, Mpesa money transfer as “far from elegant” when stacked up against other tech products.
“We see that the technology we have today is very clumsy,” Collymore said. “We should have open systems. It’s an open world.”
He said MPesa was open to global partnerships that would help it address crucial, everyday issues in the African; from electricity to water to agriculture.
Safariom is a little bit more open than it used to be when it comes to developers plugging into their system.
Launched in 2007 Mpesa money transfer has since grown to 20 million active users, according to Collymore.
An amazing 43% of Kenya’s GDP flows through the Mpesa money transfer platform. But after sometime in business, the company is now facing increasing competition.
Visa, which has struggled to promote credit cards in the region, recently launched an MPesa competitor in Kenya, called mVisa.
Earlier this year, Safaricom’s parent company Vodafone scrapped its Mpesa money transfer in South Africa, where fewer people use mobile money services.
The lack of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate between different countries’ systems is also limiting the platform’s ability to grow in emerging markets.
Collymore still hopes to make MPesa ubiquitous across the continent.
“I just want it to be like WhatsApp,” he said on Oct. 17, referring to the Facebook-owned messaging app currently used by 1 billion people in 180 countries.
In July, Safaricom launched Little Cab, a ride-hailing app that offered passengers cheaper fares than those of its competitor Uber.
Mpesa money transfer has also partnered with Ericsson to help rural residents pay for clean water, and with M-kopa Solar Kenya energy firm to let customers buy solar electricity with their mobile phones.
These kinds of initiatives improve the digital ecosystem around MPesa, and will hopefully guarantee the service’s future, Collymore says.
To spread the company’s grip, Safaricom is also looking into harnessing the data produced by its large customer base and investing in more e-commerce projects.
Over the past 15 years, e-commerce has expanded to a $395 billion industry in Africa.
“If you are running a business,” Collymore said, “the purpose of business has to be about literally solving problems. Nothing else.”