MPESA: is it finally time Safaricom considered making it a separate entity?


Totally makes sense but a lot is not adding up in regard to other figures being affected. We are still waiting for confirmation from CA over the number, as we also wait for Safaricom to speak out on it.


Which other figures?


The ones that @Trey highlighted. Kindly bear with me as I try to get all the correct information from both CA and Safaricom.


Okay. Thank you.


The CA updated the report and the glaring error was corrected.

From the wording, it appears that Safaricom may have submitted erroneous data in the first place.

Looks like the techweez article has also dissappeared, hopefully as @Trey said common sense will prevail over sensational reporting in future.


I kinda think differently on this maybe it wasn’t an error but an intentional wrong figure reporting to killer the safaricom dominance noise how comes when CAK shot down the plea to declare safaricom a dominant player they used the same figures to say safaricom had lost customers and number of transactions reduced too i read much more than the error figures


Safaricom is the Govt’s Cash Cow bana,there is no way they will let such a company lose its money making ability…Think of it as the Govt seeing it as its realized vision of what Kenya Postal & Telecommunications company was supposed to be and achieve.The Govt has big plans for Safaricom and will use every tool at their disposal to support its ability to keep generating more revenue and economic impact…


Article was updated to reflect the new numbers and an apology issued. Thanks to @Trey and @SamuelN for helping out resolve this. We appreciate your help and noted that next time we shall be on the look out for missing zeros - like seriously.


I have been following the Safaricom dominance debate quite a bit and there was no mention of any reduction in the number of transactions during the parliamentary committee meeting.

They did mention the loss of customers though

“Safaricom has been progressively losing its market share over the period analysed. This means Safaricom does not possess Significant Market Power (SMP) over any of the markets analysed,” said Mr Kariuki.


Bob Collymore expressed no regret in loosing customers if that’s what it takes for them to deliver quality. This was in regard to Airtel’s drop in call prices:


What an absurd statement. I guess that next you will imply that the government supports alcoholism to support that other big tax generating firm.


You need to look at the bigger picture bro,its not only a tax/money thing…safaricom has a huge marketshare in the internet space,they have a huge share in the mobile money/payments side…both of which have become so crucial in delivering govt services efficiently…Even when it comes to security,intelligence and surveillance capability,safaricom is an asset that can be used to achieve Govt goals on that front,the company through its MPESA platform has visibility on a lot of financial information that the Govt of the day can use to inform tax policies and track money in the economy…To think that the Govt has no plans for the company is to be very naive…


You did say that Safaricom is the “government’s cash cow”. Why switch goal posts?

And anyway Safaricom like many other private companies, provides services to the government. Naivety would be implying that the government would rely on one (or even a couple) of private entities for such critical activities. I think that’s called a single point of failure.


They would lose their biggest detractors, reducing negative sentiment about their brand but this wouldn’t immediately affect quality. They’d have to lose such a large number of subscribers, or a combination of low spend + high usage (FTTH users who pay the basic but tax the network fall here, since safcon removed Unlimited ‘4G’) that the network speeds would immediately pick up.

They find 20% of the users who use 80% of the network but generate less than 50% (more like 20%?) of the revenue. Basically, pull a Thanos and snap 5-12 million people off their list (high - extreme) so the people who pay 3,500 for FTTH (but are never home during the day) and who buy 10GB for 30 days (but are ever on office and home wifi) are the ones left.

Doing this might generate more revenue, but it will definitely remove them as an influential business as far as reaching consumers is concerned.

There are many avenues a technology company can adopt that would enable it to give users continuous value through true innovation (not just copy paste) to justify charging the prices they do. One cannot continue to rely on MPESA nostalgia forever. While the likes of Satya Nadella (a technologist and career employee) who joined Microsoft because of the companies potential to ‘empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place’ doubled down on that resolve by focusing on innovation & partnerships when he became CEO, this other career employee complains he can’t innovate without charging you high prices.

Sample from Satya Nadella Statement

If lowering your price will get more developers through the door building with your tools and on and for your platform, you do it. To paraphrase the old trend cliché: Prices are down and to the left.

Differentiation will come, in Nadella’s vision, from the players who add the most value on top of the more basic services. This mirrors the argument that the basic services (Kenya’s example being Data & Mobile Money) cannot be viewed as differentiation points in the future, current market dynamics aside. While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.

Sample Safcon CEO Statement

“Our competitors drop their prices… This results in low returns which then means that they don’t have the revenue to innovate… Next, you will hear them blame Safaricom,”

I’ll let you take a guess on who is leading a near trillion dollar company bringing unmatched value on a global scale vs a local dominant who doesn’t think they can provide customers ‘quality service’ without overcharging them. Hint: Not Bob.

These differences are amplified when you do a google search for both names:

First Satya Nadella (had to zoom out to fit 6 stories)

Then Bob Collymore

I keep saying that technologists should lead technology companies, and when Alpha was announced, it looked like this was the plan - The Products Lead is Shikoh Gitau

But as it’s still under safcon, Alpha may not be able to shake off the money first, value second culture. They’re trying to launch Bonga on Beta and how they handle this should give us an indication of how serious they are about their ‘mission statement’



Mpesa is moving to the app level from the USSD level going forward…The merchant strategy is also brilliant as it makes MPESA ubiquitous in all kinds of payments…


I’m yet to use the Bonga app(its just there).


I used Bonga day one… Alongside everyone else then I even forgot I have the app installed


The cost of using MPESA has greatly eroded it’s ‘convenience’. When something is started and grows to a level where it’s the majority (dominant?) product, the creators have to decide if a more proactive level of user awareness/protection is the ethical thing to do.

  • Safcon put a data manager after widespread public outcry
  • MPESA marketed their fraud report shortcode when complaints reached a widespread level
  • Safcon refunded illegally siphoned airtime when rogue ‘premium SMS service providers’ were put on the spot
  • MPESA introduced hakikisha when widespread complaints of misending money came about

Safcon are a reactive company with HCD - Human Centred Design - clearly not driving their products. Your customers shouldn’t have to lose millions before you decide to create a solution to combat this. What is the point of bragging about your data analytics when you cannot predict something as simple as people getting someones number wrong on the MPESA menu and having that feature available during or immediately after launch? Or do MPESA employees enter when they want to load

Seperating the two companies would give each a chance to focus on what should really bring value to customers. MPESA for instance, can leverage the bonga app by keeping an updated list of paybills for all public companies & government institutions so when people, let’s say in Mavoko county, appear in a courtroom, they can launch the app and get the OFFICIAL paybill details registered to that particular county office instead of having cartels receive money (bribes?) to private paybills so they can let people go. Much better than relying on some sticker on the wall or an agents word to verify details.

Another option would be Transsnet and their Pan African Financial Platform. They already have access to (one of?) the largest subscriber base on the continent, so if they launched (or purchased) a telco to work with their mobile finance app, AGGRESSIVELY make a few other moves discussed in various topics on Techweez, they could unseat safcon in 18 months.


@martingicheru @sarunibm In CA’s report, is the value of transactions a sum of deposits and withdrawals or a sum of P2P and withdrawals?


The issue here is that you’re ordered to use a certain paybill. Ukijifanya Mkenya mzalendo utarudishwa remand na kufunguliwa mashtaka haijulikani.

I exonerate Safaricom on this. It is the duty of the Judiciary beginning with the highest office the CJ to publicize the Paybills. What is so hard in paying Safaricom to send each of it’s subscribers such an important detail?

We’re in a certain court process and I don’t want to give much details about it until everything is finalized. Yaaani forms za court za kujaza unaambiwa 4,000bob each and you need like 16 of them (to make several copies), yet ni kitu free juu already you have paid all the required court fees. Usipotoa pesa hizo form haupatiwi.

That issue of Kibera and Mavoko shows how the leadership in the Judiciary is reluctant to fight corruption and yet the CJ is crying vile budget yao imekatwa na serikali. How much money is the Judiciary bleeding through corruption?