Vodacom Group booked a 20 per cent increase on annual revenue from its mobile money operation across four markets, as CEO Shameel Joosub (pictured) vowed to enhance its m-Pesa platform to provide Safaricom-levels of “sophistication”.
Revenue from Vodacom’s mobile money service increased to ZAR2.3 billion ($187 million) during the financial year ended 31 March. During the period, Vodacom processed ZAR23.3 billion through its m-Pesa platform, which operates in Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The figure excluded the impact of Kenyan operator Safaricom, which began filing alongside Vodacom in August after the South Africa-based operator group received a controlling stake from affiliate Vodafone.
Following the revelation Vodacom would acquire the stake in Safaricom, both Joosub and Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore talked up the potential to export the Kenyan operator’s m-Pesa model to other markets – including countries where neither operated.
Although no new launches have so far been announced, on Vodacom’s earnings call Joosub told investors the company had enhanced the abilities of its own m-Pesa offer and would: “Strive to get all of our countries at the same level of sophistication as Safaricom”.
He added: “m-Pesa remains a huge driver of growth for us and we still see huge potential.”
Mobile money services now contribute 13.8 per cent of revenue for Vodacom Group’s International Business unit – which comprises all its operations except Safaricom and home market of South Africa, where the company abandoned mobile money services in 2016.
Including Safaricom, its total mobile money user base increased 11.5 per cent to 32.2 million. Detailed figures for Safaricom were reported last week by chiefs in Kenya.
Net profit for Vodacom Group increased 18.6 per cent year-on-year to ZAR15.6 billion. Revenue increased 6.3 per cent to ZAR86 billion, driven partly by increased customer numbers in South Africa, growth in subscribers taking bundles and improved device sales.