Bharti Airtel’s Q3 results reveal that its mobile money service, Airtel Money, is gaining popularity in Africa at a brisk rate.
Airtel Money users have increased to 5.3 million, compared to 1.8 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
Meanwhile, the total number of transactions on the platform increased threefold to 131 million in the quarter, up from just 44 million in the same period in 2013.
And the total value of transactions grew almost fourfold to $3.3 billion compared to $867 million last year.
Christian de Faria, MD and CEO of Airtel Africa, said more than five million customers carry out an average of over 1.4 million daily transactions.
Airtel said it has introduced “relevant innovations” to the market during the quarter such as interoperable Mobile Financial Services (MFS) and international money transfer saving products.
Data revenue for the carrier’s African operations also grew 57 per cent thanks to a 50.4 per cent increase in the region’s data customers. Mobile data now represents 10 per cent of Africa’s overall revenue compared to 6.6 per cent a year ago.
“We are delighted to be in the forefront of this twin opportunity – mobile data and m-commerce, both of which have enormous potential to change quality of lives of people in Africa,” said de Faria.
Earlier this month, the company said it was looking to launch a service that enables its money subscribers to send, receive and withdraw cash from their mobile wallets across international borders in East Africa and has created an alliance with Gabon-headquartered BGFIBank to encourage Airtel Money take-up.
In a Mobile World Live interview earlier this year Manoj Kohli, CEO of international operations, said the usage of mobile money in some African countries had “taken leaps over” India and Nigeria (two of Airtel’s largest markets).