Is M-PESA really Kenyan or British?
In introducing this series, the initial question was Is M-Pesa really Kenyan or British? In addressing this question, Waita explains that it is neither Kenyan nor British.
Waita said: “M-Pesa as a mobile money transfer platform is the product of years of collaborative research and innovation driven by teams in Kenya, the UK and other parts of the world.
“As to who owns the intellectual property rights in M-Pesa, that is also quite simple, the IP is in two forms, i.e. the trade mark and the proprietary software design and functionality. The IP in the trade mark M-PESA is jointly owned by Vodafone and Safaricom in Kenya, while Vodafone owns the trademark outside Kenya. The IP in the technology (read patents) is owned by Vodafone.”
Having said that, the assertion and conclusion that M-Pesa is British was made after looking at the parties involved in its development and funding.
Waita added: “The article ‘Is M-Pesa really Kenyan or British?’ is not entirely inaccurate in terms of the history of the development of M-PESA to the extent of the involvement of Vodafone, DFID and others. However, the story fails to mention that the product/service for which VF (Vodafone) was granted funding was actually a microfinance repayment solution. It was piloted in Thika, Kenya by Safaricom and Faulu Kenya.
“During the pilot, Safaricom realized that people would use the system to transfer money and not to repay their loans as they had the menu on their phones. At this juncture Vodafone commissioned Sagentia to re-write the software as a mobile money transfer solution. “
What faulu did not realise is that they were used to dummy Mpesa and never gained anything,i think once hit it becomes a habit by Safaricom.