Vodacom reports 7.8M m-pesa users

Vodacom reports 7.8M m-pesa users

23 JUL 2015

South African operator Vodacom said customer numbers for m-pesa in its international operations grew by 18 per cent year-on-year, although there has been a net decline of 200,000 over the last three months.

In a trading statement for the three months to end June, Vodacom said the user base for the mobile money service reached 7.8 million. Yet the company announced at the end of March its m-pesa base for international operations was 8 million, indicating a decline of 200,000 over the past three months.

Mobile World Live quizzed Vodacom which said the decline was due to inactive users being deactivated.

The company said revenue growth from m-pesa is 16 per cent but did not release actual figures.

“m-pesa continues to gain traction in all our markets, fuelled by expansion in the distribution channel and a growing ecoystem,” said Shameel Joosub (pictured), Vodacom Group CEO. The group’s international operations cover Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho.

The 7.8 million figure is the number of unique customers who have generated revenue related to any m-pesa activities in the past 90 days. Of this total, 5.6 million have been active in the past 30 days.

Vodacom did not reveal m-pesa take-up for its home market of South Africa.

The operator is attempting to upsell users from its basic money transfer service to more sophisticated offerings. To this end, it revealed that 9.8 per cent of its m-pesa users in Tanzania, the leading market for the money service, are actively using a savings and loans product called m-pawa.

The group does not operate m-Pesa in Kenya, where the service has proved a massive success in recent years. The Kenyan service is offered by Safaricom.

Overall, company revenue increased 7.0 per cent year-on-year to ZAR19.56 billion ($1.57 billion), of which service revenue accounted for ZAR15.66 billion. The lions share (ZAR11.76 billion) came from its home market of South Africa


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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