South Africa’s Vodacom is struggling to reproduce at home the mobile money success it has enjoyed internationally.
The group launched M-Pesa in its domestic market in 2010, and then relaunched four years later in an effort to spur interest.
Meanwhile, the company has found greater success with mobile money in its smaller, international markets, particularly Tanzania, where it has seen a significant take-up.
“Vodacom conducts regular reviews of its investments and products, including M-Pesa South Africa (MPSA),” a Vodacom spokesperson told Fin24 via email.
“We can confirm that we are currently considering a range of options for MPSA but that no final decisions have been made,” he added.
Fin24 reported that Vodacom is considering a number of ideas that range from enabling employees to generate new ideas for it to possibly even shutting the service down.
At end-March 2015, Vodacom had one million registered customers for M-Pesa domestically, but just 76,000 actively using the service (judged to be a user who has generated revenue relating to M-Pesa in the past 90 days). Given the size of the South African market, that performance looks sub-par. Vodacom has not released any figures for take-up since then.
In contrast, at end-December 2015, the operator had a total of 9.7 million money users in its international markets of Tanzania, DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho.