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Safaricom to Speak at MMT Africa in Kenya in May

Betty Mwangi-Thuo, Chief Officer New Products Division, Safaricom will address the MMT Africa conference and exhibition which is taking place from 11-12 May in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nairobi, Kenya, April 07, 2011 --( Safaricom is keen to continue partnering with banks to offer financial products to customers through mobile phone based bank accounts or through mobile banking services. So says Betty Mwangi-Thuo, Chief Officer New Products Division, Safaricom who will address the mobile money transfer industry’s top event on the continent, MMT Africa conference and exhibition, taking place from 11-12 May, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Safaricom’s Betty Mwangi-Thuo is a headline speaker at the event where more than 400 top industry experts, including service providers, banks, central banks and technology vendors, will showcase their products and share their experiences.

M-PESA answered a real need
“It’s all about financial inclusion” says Betty Mwangi-Thuo, “and convenience to the customer. MMT services need to evolve beyond money transfer to offer more financial based services to customers.” She continues: “M-PESA’s unprecedented success is mainly due to the fact that it answered a real need – i.e. to provide basic financial services to the majority of Kenya’s unbanked.”

According to her, M-PESA was the first interaction to a formal financial service for many Kenyans: “the simplicity in registration and operating the service through a simple STK based menu ensures that customers are able to use the service despite low levels of literacy in the country.”

M-PESA partnerships are purely customer driven
Partnerships have been essential to M-PESA’s success, according to Betty Mwangi-Thuo: “M-PESA has substantially expanded its product portfolio and has in the past 2 years partnered with over 1000 organisations to offer Pay Bill Services, Merchant Payments and Business to Customer Payments. Strategic partnership are key to M-PESA as Safaricom needs to continuously roll out products that are in line with customer’s ever changing needs. M-PESA partnerships are purely customer driven.”

She notes that partnerships will continue to be part of Safaricom’s strategy going forward: “Safaricom is keen to continue partnering with banks to offer financial products to customers through mobile phone based bank accounts or through mobile banking services.”

MMT Africa pivotal in creating standards in MMT industry
Safaricom’s Betty Mwangi-Thuo says the MMT Africa and other MMT forums globally have played an instrumental role in “bringing together key stakeholders in the industry and giving them a platform to showcase their products as well as share their experiences and learning. The forums have also played a pivotal role in trying to create standards for the MMT service across various markets.”

Nairobi as African techno hub
Part of the MMT Africa event is the site visit to the iHub_Nairobi, one of the city’s most innovative technology hubs. iHub_Nairobi’s Innovation Hub is an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. It is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers.

Other top industry experts who will address recent market developments at MMT Africa include:

· Yolande Van Wyk, CEO: Smart Services, First National Bank South Africa
· Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor, Banking Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria
· Kioko Musyimi, Director Cash Management for East Africa, Citigroup
· Hashim Mukudi, MCommerce Head of Department, Zantel Tanzania
· Snehar Shah, Head of Orange Money, Telkom Kenya
· Benson Wandario, Head Mobile Money Transfer - Distribution, Essar Telecom Kenya
· Jacques Voogt, HOD: Financial Services, Vodacom Tanzania

Event dates:
11-12 May – conference days
10 May – Pre-conference Mobile Money Academy
13 May – Post conference site visit

Contact Information
MMT Africa
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558

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