MPesa Shakes Off the Effects of the Betting Industry Shutdown to Push Profits for Safaricom

By  |  November 1, 2019

It is not known how much revenue accrued from the betting industry which enabled users to place bets and receive winnings through mobile money.

SportPesa and BetIn sent their employees home and shut down their businesses in Kenya in September and October. This not only reduced the mobile money traffic but it was predicted that the telecoms could post a decline in mobile money revenue.

But Safaricom’s MPesa sustained the betting firm shutdowns to post positive growth according to the half-year financial report ending September 2019.

“M-PESA has sustained robust growth in the period recording year-on-year growth of 18.2 per cent despite the impact of the slow-down in the gaming industry,” Michael Josephs, Safaricom Interim CEO said. “Excluding gaming, revenue grew 20.9 per cent YoY and chargeable transactions per customer per month grew 17.5 per cent.”

This is opposed to a report by Genghis Capital that the shutdown of betting firms in Kenya will affect the company’s mobile money revenue by posting a 13.3 per cent year-on-year revenue.

Safaricom says the growth was driven by 12.4 per cent year-on-year increase in 30-day active M-PESA customers to 23.61 million and a 7.8 per cent year-on-year growth in monthly usage per customer to 13 chargeable transactions per month.

“The company added 2.6 million active M-PESA customers with MPESA now accounting for 33.8 per cent of service revenue, further accelerating displacement of traditional voice and messaging services,” the CEO said.

Mobile data has also proved to be a growth area for the company with Safaricom posting a 4 per cent growth in revenue. Mobile data now accounts for 15.9 per cent of service revenue and registered an impressive 14.6 per cent growth on the revenue earned in the second half of last year.

During the period the company installed over 700 LTE sites across the country bringing the 4G coverage in the country to 63 per cent.

“Growth in mobile data revenue is expected to return to double digits in the second half of this year driven by increased penetration and usage,” Josephs promised.

Overall revenue for the telco stood at Kshs 129.9 Bn, with MPesa raking in Kshs 41.97 Bn, mobile data brining in Kshs 19.78 Bn in revenue and voice topping it up by Kshs 46.87 Bn.

Feature Image Courtesy: BiznaKenya

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