Mobile money accounts up but transactions fall

Dar es Salaam. Despite an increase in the number of mobile money accounts by 1.4 million during the first nine months of last year, the number of transactions fell in the third quarter that ended on September 30.

Quarterly statistics by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) show that the number of mobile money transactions fell by 3.1 percent, to 252.4 million, compared to 260.4 million in the second quarter.

However, the statistics don’t state the value of transactions during the third quarter of last year, although at the end of the second quarter in June, it was Sh8.3 trillion.

In April and May, it was Sh7.6 trillion and Sh7.4 trillion, respectively.

Data shows that Vodacom Tanzania slightly increased its mobile money market share to 41 per cent, up from the 40 percent recorded during the first quarter. Another gainer was Airtel Tanzania, which closed the third quarter with 19 per cent in September last year, up from the 17 per cent recorded in the first quarter that ended on March 31.

Halotel also experienced a slight gain after its market share improved to seven per cent, from six, while TTCL and Ezy Pesa shares remained flat at two per cent each.

Tigo Tanzania was the biggest loser after its market share shrunk to 29 per cent during the third quarter from 33 per cent recorded during the first quarter of last year.

However, the statistics showed an increased number of accounts by 1.4 million over the last three quarters to 23.7 million from 22.29 million in January last year.

The report further indicates that mobile money value per subscription declined by 16 percent between July and September 2016.

Prolifically, mobile money value per subscription on July was 443,935 while in September was 371,836.

Contrary to comparison with that of June 2016 which was 362,293 per subscription there was an increase of 2.6 per cent.

Vodacom’s M-Pesa was the only platform which experienced a decline in the number of transactions with 18.5 million.

In June 2019, M-Pesa had 137.69 million transactions which declined to 119.16 million.

Airtel Money recorded an increase of 5.2 million transactions to 42.2 million in September followed by Tigo Pesa with an increase of 2.7 million to 77.4 million transactions.

Halo Pesa and Tigo Pesa experienced a decrease in the number of mobile money accounts.

Tigo Pesa had a 95,756 decrease in the number of accounts to 6.88 million from 6.97 million in June 2019, while Halo Pesa lost 4,720 account mobile money users to 1.564 million from 1.569 million.

M-Pesa recorded the highest number of additional accounts (383,689) to 9.76 million accounts followed by Airtel Money (329,234) to 4.52 million.

Vodacom continue to have the most mobile money users with 9.76 million followed by Tigo Pesa with 6.88 million and Airtel Money with 4.52 million.

Halo Pesa had 1.56 million mobile money accounts, TTCL 582,962 and Ezy Pesa 384,609.

Meanwhile, reached for comment, Airtel Tanzania Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager Jackson Mmbando said the company’s mobile money transactions performed well during the period because of a number of factors, including an initiative in which Airtel customers sending money within the network were not charged.

He said the company has expanded its services to a number of platforms including outside the country transactions, while at the same time they have opened at least 1,000 Airtel branches that perform transactions of up to Sh2 million transactions daily.

“The company has also partnered with at least 20 banks in the country to facilitate transactions,” he said.

The Citizen could not obtain the views of other telecoms companies because they were not ready to comment on the statistics.