Michael Joseph joins pan-African fin-tech MFS Africa as non-executive director

MFS Africa, a pan-African fintech which provides a gateway to send money to mobile wallets, has announced the appointment of former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph to its board as an independent Non-Executive Director.

As Non-Executive Director, Joseph will help MFS Africa CEO Dare Okoudjou and the board to strengthen relationships with mobile network operators, money transfer organisations, banks and other financial institutions across Africa. He is also expected to engage with regulators, development organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to advocate an open and inclusive cross-border digital payments infrastructure. His role will also extend to corporate governance and the strategic direction of the company.

(TOP: Michael Joseph).

“There are over a billion mobile phone users in Africa and only one in ten are using mobile financial services. Despite the success of in-country schemes, consumers are increasingly demanding further ways to transact across networks and across borders. If we’re to create the “network effect” needed to drive financial inclusion and build a strong digital economy across the continent, new solutions need to be found,” said Michael Joseph, Head of Mobile Money at Vodafone and chairman of chairman of Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways.

“By connecting to 120 million mobile wallets – 75 per cent of all mobile wallets in Africa – and enabling cross border and cross network financial services, MFS Africa is helping to solve the industry’s biggest challenge. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart and I leapt at the opportunity to be part of the solution.”

“Michael’s the father of mobile money. His experience in making M-Pesa a near-ubiquitous service in Kenya and in many other Vodafone markets has helped create a rich ecosystem, rapidly and at scale, which will be invaluable to MFS Africa’s growth,” said Dare Okoudjou, CEO of MFS Africa. “Taking the lessons learned from M-Pesa and applying them across the entire region will help us achieve our mission: scaling mobile financial services so they serve the millions of un- and under- banked people across Africa.”

Since 2011, Joseph has been the Director of Mobile Money at Vodafone Group and also serves on the Boards of Vodacom Group South Africa, Vodacom Tanzania, Vodacom Mozambique and Safaricom Limited in Kenya. In 2011 he was appointed as the first fellow of the World Bank to drive expansion and uptake of mobile money services across member states.

In late February, MSF Africa announced the appointment of Visa’s former VP of Strategy and Sales for Emerging Markets Digital, Reg Swart as Chief Commercial Officer (CMO) to drive the firm’s business strategy.

In his previous role, Reg was an integral member of the leadership team responsible for establishing global mobile money at Visa. He held the position of Senior VP of Global Business Development at Fundamo, a company that enabled two-thirds of mobile financial services in emerging markets, eventually acquired by Visa in 2011. Reg will drive MFS Africa’s business development and commercial strategy to further grow its network of partners on its MFS Hub. He will also be responsible for spearheading MFS Africa’s efforts to increase volumes by expanding its relationships with existing mobile operators, connecting new providers – retailers, ecommerce and internet companies – and driving cross-border remittances.

 

The MFS Hub allows service providers to facilitate transactions across networks, across borders and across currencies via a single API ensuring compliance with all necessary regulations. Operators, banks and money transfer organisations can provide customers with more flexible payment options, increasing the velocity and volume of electronic money in the ecosystem. Through partnerships with mobile network operators including Airtel, Econet, MTN, Orange, Tigo and Vodafone, MFS Africa has unparalleled reach into mobile wallets across the continent.