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Mobile money transactions reach Sh11.5tr

Friday November 06 2020
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A mobile money outlet. Mobile money transactions rose 8.5 percent between June and September 2020, according to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority. PHOTO | FILE

By Alfred Zacharia

Dar es Salaam. Mobile money transactions rose 8.5 percent between June and September 2020 as Tanzania increasingly shifts to a less cash economy.

Customers transacted a total of Sh11.5 trillion via the six mobile money platforms of M-Pesa, Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money, Halo Pesa, Ezy Pesa and TTCL’s T-Pesa in September, up from Sh10.6 trillion that was transacted in June, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) says.

The surge was largely driven by increased number of mobile money subscribers and transactions as the platform gained popularity in the country’s endeavor to move into a cashless society.

TCRA says in its latest report that Vodacom’s M-Pesa maintained its leading position, commanding 41 percent of the subscription market share and with some Sh6.5 trillion being transacted via the platform in September.

There were a total of 117.4 million transactions on the M-Pesa platform in September 2020.

With falling revenues from mobile voice as firms still grapple with drop in Average Revenue Per User (Arpu), precipitated by to service barring to millions of non-biometrically registered customers as well as intense competitive pricing pressure, mobile money and data have become new cash cows for telecommunication companies.

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For instance, Vodacom Tanzania Plc’s annual report for the year ended 31st March 2020, shows that revenue from its mobile voice fell by 3.2 percent while that from mobile incoming dropped by 19 percent during the year ending March 31, 2020.

On the contrary, revenue from M-Pesa grew by 7.4 percent, to reach Sh358.2 billion, during the period.

“Our mobile money service, M-Pesa, continues to deliver on its promise of financial inclusion, empowering customers to transact easily and contributing to economic growth,” the firm’s managing director, Mr Hisham Hendi, told the firm’s shareholders during an annual general meeting last week.

With a Sh2.4 trillion pie of the Sh11.5 trillion, TigoPesa came second while Airtel Money came third with transactions worth Sh2.1 trillion. Tigo-Pesa and Airtel Money hold 28 percent and 20 percent of the mobile money accounts with 8.67 million and 6.15 million subscribers, accordingly.

Hallo-Pesa, Easy-Pesa and TTCL’s T-Pesa got Sh353.2 billion, Sh102.2 billion and Sh1.29 billion of the transactions respectively.

The total number of voice telecoms subscriptions rose to 49.25 million in September, from 48.13 million in June this year.

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