Vodacom wants to double mobile money users outside SA by 2017

Vodacom wants to double mobile money users outside SA by 2017

26 SEP 2014

South Africa’s Vodacom is looking to double the number of users on its M-Pesa mobile money service outside its home market by 2017, said Bloomberg.

The operator, which is majority controlled by Vodafone, is aiming for about 11 million M-Pesa users outside South Africa by 2017 compared with six million now, said Romeo Kumalo, the COO of Vodacom International.

Vodacom has operations in Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho, as well as South Africa.

In Tanzania, M-Pesa has proved particularly popular, where it contributed 19 per cent of service revenue in 2013/14. This figure comes from the financial results of Vodafone, Vodacom’s parent.

However, M-Pesa has been a harder sell for Vodacom in South Africa where the operator recently partnered with Bidvest and Visa for a second crack at mobile money.

The operator identified the factors which have held it back up in its domestic market, including an insufficient number of agents and a complex service registration process.

Vodafone’s 2013/14 results also reported that Vodacom had 4.4 million active M-Pesa users outside South Africa. Given the COO is now talking about six million users, this implies a steep growth although he did not seem to specifically refer to ‘active’ users which could explain the difference.


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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