Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub sees the network operator having 50-million mobile money customers within three to five years. At the end of March, Vodacom had 32.3-million M-Pesa customers in Kenya (through its stake in Safaricom), Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to taking M-Pesa to new African markets, growth would be driven largely by convincing more Vodacom customers to take up the service. "[About] 70% of Safaricom’s customers use M-Pesa, while only 37% of our customers in our international operations are utilising this service. "There remains huge potential for growth … if we can get all the countries to the same level of penetration as Safaricom," Joosub said. Investec Asset Management portfolio manager Samantha Hartard said that if Vodacom succeeded with the plan it was likely to lift the valuations of its international businesses. Thanks to strong management and the strength of M-Pesa, Safaricom "trades at a big premium to its peer...

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