Safaricom is seeking to transform itself into a technology company in five years while offering new financial solutions to small businesses and farmers.
Chief executive Peter Ndegwa said yesterday the giant telco will target small and micro enterprises, which are the engines of economic growth in the country, by offering additional financial services and connectivity solutions.
"In the past two decades, Safaricom has grown from a telecommunication service provider to a technology company and our customers have been a key part of this journey. We're cognisant that technology and a data-driven economy can further support Kenya's economic growth, and these will be our launchpad for the next 20 years," Mr Ndegwa said yesterday when the Telco celebrated 20 years of operations.
"We plan to go beyond to new frontiers, be more present, more world-class, and enable new platforms to launch our SMEs into greater possibilities," he added.
The giant telco wants to extend more services to small and medium enterprises. As part of this, a new product for SMEs will allow them to pay salaries or suppliers via a special application.
The product, dubbed Pochi la Biashara, will allow separation of business and personal wallets on M-Pesa. Safaricom is also betting big on data, the CEO said.
To this end, Safaricom plans to expand its fibre and 4G network to provide internet to a million homes and businesses within five years. It plans to achieve 100 per cent 4G access countrywide by December 31.
Safaricom is also eyeing regional growth. Mr Ndegwa says the firm will evolve M-Pesa into a lifestyle platform and universal payment network in Africa.