M-Pesa users outside Kenya hit 13.4 million


Safaricom had 24,206,341 active subscriptions on its M-Pesa platform at the end of September. FILE PHOTO | NMG

M-Pesa subscribers outside Kenya expanded by 227,000 in three months to hit 13.4 million at the end of December, Vodacom Group Limited has said, indicating the growing popularity of the mobile money service in other African markets.

Vodacom Group’s trading update for the quarter ended December 31, 2018, shows that the group made R851 million (Sh6.28 billion) as M-Pesa revenue from Tanzania, DR Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho markets. This was a 30.3 per cent jump in revenue from the previous quarter.

The mobile money service now contributes 16.4 per cent of Vodacom’s service revenue, an improvement attributed to growing ecosystems across the four markets.

“We generated M-Pesa revenue of R851 million, with growth accelerating to 30.3 per cent, contributing 16.4 per cent of service revenue, as we grow the ecosystem in all markets,” said Vodacom, which holds a 35 per cent stake in Safaricom.

“On average for the quarter, 237 million transactions were processed monthly through the M-Pesa system, growing at 24.2 per cent year-on-year.”

The growth of M-Pesa also helped push up Vodacom’s service revenues of operations outside South Africa and Kenya by 13.2 per cent. Excluding South Africa and Kenya, the rest of markets contribute 27.5 per cent of group’s service revenue.

In Mozambique, Vodacom said it expanded interoperability of the service to a third bank, helping to widen the M-Pesa ecosystem for its customers.

Vodacom’s 30-day active M-Pesa customers has grown by 20.6 per cent to 13.41 million, up from 11.1 million a year earlier.

Growth has been fastest in Lesotho (46.4 per cent) followed by DRC (40 per cent) and Mozambique at 29.8 per cent.

Vodacom Tanzania says in its latest trading update for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 that its M-Pesa customers rose by 10.0 per cent to 6.9 million, representing 49 per cent of its customer base.  

“Our merchant solution continued to grow, used by 9,028 active merchants (up 7.5 per cent quarter on quarter), transacting TZS 302 billion (Sh13.3 billion) during the period,” said Vodacom Tanzania.

In Kenya, Safaricom earned Sh62.9 billion as revenue from M-Pesa business in financial year ended March 2018, being 28 per cent of total business revenue. It had 20.5 million 30-day active users.