Revenue from Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money service grew by 22 per cent to KES26.6 billion ($300 million) and, along with other data services, gave some muscle to the Kenyan operator’s 2013/14 results.
Overall, the operator’s revenue grew by 16 per cent to KES 144.7 billion in the year to end-March 2014, while net income rose by 31 per cent to KES23 billion.
Aside from M-Pesa, the mobile operator also saw strong revenue growth from mobile data (41 per cent), SMS (34 per cent), as well as its fixed services (22 per cent).
However, M-Pesa’s share of Safaricom’s total revenue was flat at 18 per cent over last year and the mobile money service’s ARPU growth rate was a gentle 3.8 per cent (to KES 191).
Behind the M-Pesa revenue growth was a 15 per cent rise in the number of 30-day active users to 12.2 million. Registered customers grew by 13 per cent to 19.3 million.
But M-Pesa is evolving. The traditional P2P business is still its mainstay, with KES 82 billion in transactions per month sent between users, a 16 per cent increase over the previous year. But person-to-business and business-to-person are both growing quicker than the P2P business, although from significantly lower starting points.