The number of mobile money agents has increased 22.68 per cent, further piling pressure on their earnings.
The telco agencies increased to 198,234 last December, up from 161,583 the previous year, according to the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) sector statistics.
Safaricom #ticker:SCOM accounted for 76 per cent of the total number of agents. The telco has 152,077 agents while Airtel has 23,515, Mobikash 16,749 and Mobile Pay 5,893.
M-Pesa agency commissions grew by double-digits but the more than tripling of the number of agents in the last five years also meant the average take-home has been dwindling.
M-Pesa commission earnings grew to Sh17.7 billion in 2017 up from Sh14.7 billion the previous year.
Safaricom had the highest increase with nearly 28,000 additional agents, making up 76 per cent of the growth.
As at December 31, last year, the number of active mobile money transfer subscriptions stood at 30 million. This accounted for the 607 million mobile money transactions or Sh1.76 trillion.
The number of agents is expected to increase in the third quarter of the year after Telkom indicated it would deploy an additional 20,000 agents.
The telco terminated Orange Money mid last year, saying that the service was not up to standards the firm wanted.
Orange Money had the second-lowest number of subscriptions and the smallest agency network at the time.