Huawei powers Kenya’s mobile money platform


An app launched by Huawei and Safaricom seen on a smartphone in Nairobi, April 9, 2011.

Chinese telecom firm Huawei said on Wednesday its mobile money platform is supporting the M-Pesa service for Kenyan mobile firm Safaricom after it successfully migrated 12.8 million active subscribers overnight.

Huawei said migrating the service to its open, secure, flexible and high performing platform has realized the goal of “bringing M- Pesa home” to Safaricom users.

Safaricom is partly owned by British firm Vodafone and the Kenyan government.

“We are delighted to announce the migration of M-Pesa to Safaricom in Kenya is now complete. Over the last three years we have built a strong partnership with Vodafone, and building on the success of the Safaricom migration, we will work together to expand the service in other markets,” Huawei programme manager Owen Thomas said in a statement received in Nairobi.

Thomas said Huawei built its Mobile Money Platform to deliver basic banking transactions in developing countries. “The technology is not restricted to particular handset types, working on both smartphones and feature phones. This has been key to the success in developing markets,” he said.

Since 2012, Huawei and Vodafone have been closely engaged from a business investment and technical perspective to develop the M-PESA service.

M-Pesa is a Vodafone branded digital financial service (DFS) which provides a true value add service to an operator’s subscribers and leverages existing investments in network and IT platforms.

The M-Pesa infrastructure extends the delivery of basic financial services and payments to the large number of unbanked citizens in Kenya, providing a personal and social impact on their lives.

The M-Pesa business is also supporting entrepreneurial businesses to develop in Kenya and its scale and use solution allows operators to offer a significantly lower transaction cost compared to traditional bank services.

M-PESA in Kenya is the largest M-PESA deployment within Vodafone Group and the largest Mobile Financial Service (MFS) globally.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said this migration is not only a milestone between Safaricom and Huawei, but also a key milestone for the Vodafone Group and Vodafone Africa. “This is a great achievement for all involved. The management team at Kenya Safaricom give our heartfelt thanks to Huawei for finishing a complex and challenging project,” he said.

Director of Mobile Money, Vodafone Group Michael Joseph said since migration, Vodafone and Safaricom have been impressed by the speed and stability of M-PESA transactions on the Huawei Mobile Money Platform.

“Four years ago we started a journey that has resulted in the great success demonstrated today. Moving M-PESA onto the Huawei Mobile Money Platform is probably one of the most important IT and migration projects that many of us have ever worked on,” said Joseph. “The result is a huge milestone not only for Safaricom and Vodafone, but also for Kenya,” he added.

The new platform delivers an improved performance for users and Safaricom including: improved availability for subscribers and agents to execute transactions; faster query resolution time, through a Kenya based support team; and faster transaction processing for subscribers.