Vodacom’s M-Pesa Growth Still Not Reaching South Africa
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Vodacom identified mobile money service m-Pesa as a growth engine but its 2014/15 results showed this to be truer internationally than in South Africa.
The Johannesburg-based operator reported growth of 34 per cent to 8 million active m-Pesa users outside its home market, with revenue growth of 27.5 per cent in the 12 months to end-March 2015.
The group talked up its achievements over the past 12 months, which included the launch of a mobile-based savings and loans package called m-Pawa with the Commercial Bank of Africa in Tanzania. Active users of m-Pawa now count 1.8 million. The group has also debuted international money transfer services.
Yet, Vodacom conceded, m-Pesa was only “slowly gaining traction” in its largest market of South Africa. It has one million registered customers there and 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, the take-up looks sub-par.