M-pesa, the Kenyan technological marvel that was recently recognised with an international award is doing brisk business outside the Kenyan borders.
Revenue outside Kenya grew 42.7 percent to Sh6.2 billion in three months to June, showing the growing popularity of the mobile money service in Africa.
Vodacom Group’s trading update for the quarter ended June 2019, shows that the jump in revenue came in the period customers outside Kenya increased by 686,000 or 11.6 percent to 14.2 million.
“We have over 14 million customers using M-Pesa and continue to extend the ecosystem thereby extending our reach and giving customers more ways in which to transact,” said Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.
The increased revenues, coming from Tanzania, DR Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho translated to 17.7 percent of Sh62 billion posted as international service revenue.
Despite this growth, M-Pesa performance in the four markets trails that of Kenya in terms of revenue and customer numbers.
In the financial year ended March 2019, Safaricom posted Sh74.99 billion or about Sh18.7 billion per quarter from its 22.6 million active users.
Vodacom wants to conclude the acquisition of an M-Pesa branded platform at Sh1.39 billion, a move that will see it secure control for future revenues.
“We expect to conclude the acquisition of the M-Pesa brand and platform and together with the recent launch of VodaPay, to further enhance the performance of our financial services business,” said Mr Joosub.
Vodacom says M-Pesa customers in Tanzania grew 6.9 percent to 7,277 while that of Mozambique was up 19.6 percent to 4,028. DRC posted 7.4 percent growth to 2,284 as Lesotho users increased 44.9 percent to 597.
On average for the quarter, 720 million transactions were processed monthly through the M-Pesa system outside Kenya, growing at 22.8 percent year-on-year. “We expect modest customer growth in Tanzania and the DRC, following implementation of more onerous customer registration requirements,” the group says.
Vodacom launched an M-Pesa overdraft service in Tanzania, similar to Kenya’s M-Pesa ‘Fuliza’, which gives customers instant access to credit to enable them to make money transfers or remit bills when they have insufficient funds in their accounts.