M-Pesa booming across continent

07 August 2023

Mobile phone based money transfer service M-Pesa is booming, thanks to new growth areas such as lending and savings products that continue to gain traction.

In the quarter that ended in June 2023, these growth vectors, lending, and savings products, contributed almost 60% of the growth of M-Pesa. Accoirdingly, the M-Pesa service is now a key revenue stream for joint owners Safaricom and Vodacom Group across the African continent.

M-Pesa provides more than 51 million customers across seven countries in Africa with mobile money services. M-Pesa revenue grew 34.4% to $106 million, supported by customer growth and new service adoption, such as facilitating lending.

“We added 400 000 M-Pesa customers in the quarter, with penetration of our one-month active base at 45.0%. New growth areas such as lending and savings products continue to gain traction, contributing almost 60% of the growth in the quarter,” said Vodacom Group CEO, Shameel Joosub. “We facilitated loans of R4.3 billion in the quarter, more than doubling year-on-year, and supported by products such as ‘Songesha’ in Tanzania and ‘Txuna’ in Mozambique. M-Pesa transaction values processed on our platform over the last twelve months, including Safaricom, were $360.6 billion, up 5.8%.”

Joosub said that revenue from new services – financial and digital services, fixed and internet of things – accounts for almost one-fifth of the group’s total revenue and is well on track to reach the target contribution of 25% to 30% over the medium-term as adoption rates rise amidst a shortfall of traditional banking services.

“Financial services remains a clear strategic priority for the group and produced a 46.2% increase in revenue to surpass the R3 billion mark in a quarter for the first time. This was supported by a strong performance in South Africa and M-Pesa, which remains Africa’s largest mobile money platform by transaction value, and its new services in particular, such as loans and merchant services,” said Joosub.