Mobile operator Safaricom’s M-Pesa money transfer service, which currently operates outside existing banking regulations, is facing an audit ordered by Kenyan finance minister John Michuki in an effort to allay concerns about the safety of users’ money. Safaricom’s chief executive Michael Joseph told the Nairobi Business Daily that he welcomed the audit, saying it would prove that M-Pesa is a reliable money transfer service. He said, ‘It will verify the concerns and satisfy the regulator that we have put safeguards and the risks are minimal.’ M-Pesa has in the region of four million subscribers and provides a blueprint for the entry of telecoms firms into the mobile finance market in emerging economies in Africa and Asia.
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