M-PESA has gained 1.2 million users in Ethiopia since launching its mobile money service in August 2023.
The telco announced this during its half-year results for 2023–2024.
M-PESA started operating in Ethiopia on August 16th, after getting a license from the National Bank of Ethiopia.
M-PESA, a joint venture of Vodacom Group and Safaricom, is the most successful mobile money platform in Africa and a key revenue source for both telecoms.
The launch marked a major milestone for Safaricom as it seeks to expand its service in one of Africa’s most populous countries.
Safaricom also revealed that transactions worth $288 million (Ksh. 43.7 billion) have been made through M-Pesa so far. The service has also signed up 23,000 agents and 12,000 businesses.
“With only 35% of the country being financially included, our strategic vision remains to deepen financial inclusion and promote a cash-lite economy,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
“We established a widespread agent and merchant ecosystem of 22,700 and 11,700 shops, respectively. This increased transaction volume to 2 million, valued at KSh 43.7 billion.
“This confirms our expectations about Ethiopia in terms of how it will significantly contribute to our future growth. We plan to keep this momentum in the second half of the year.”
“We see more opportunities with M-PESA and mobile data, although we are starting from a low base. We are especially impressed with the level of mobile data usage. Such levels took us nearly ten years to achieve in Kenya,” Ndegwa added.
Ethiopia, with over 100 million people, is a promising market for M-PESA. The country’s main operator, Ethio Telecom, has about 50 million customers.
Safaricom’s customer base grew to 4.1 million people and reached 22 cities across the country.
Subsequently, Safaricom reported a 10.9% increase in revenue to KSh 41.6 billion in its half-year results, driven by the growth of M-PESA and mobile data.
Ndegwa revealed Ethiopia achieved 4.3 gigabytes per customer, while Kenya had 3.7 gigabytes per customer.
“We see M-PESA accelerating our vision to transform lives in the country, supported by the group’s proven record in financial services in Africa,” said Shameel Joosub during the Vodacom Group Limited results conference call for the six months ended September 30, 2023.