2 February 2013

East Africa: M-Pesa Transfers At U.S.$622 Million

Dar es Salaam — Vodacom's M-Pesa services which was launched in 2008 has accumulated over Tsh1trn ($621.72m) transacted through the service according to company officials.

Speaking to East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam during the launch of the partnership between Vodacom and Fastjet, the firm's Head of Branding and Communication, Mr Kelvin Twissa said that Vodacom has more than 4.5 million active customers for M-Pesa services.

The company will be the first to offer a mobile payment solution for air travel with the airline.

"We have upgraded our M-Pesa platform to allow the services cater for more than 10 million active customers, a move that will see more Tanzanians opting to use it as a payment solution," Twissa said.

Twissa explained that they are planning to increase their customer base by attracting more than 600 small and medium companies and over 6million individuals by the end of this year.

He added that currently, the company has more than 160 organizations which have accepted bill payment via M-Pesa scheme. The authorities are confident that the number of organizations will hike as the days goes on.

Vodacom has also reported a 48% overall increase in its customer base. This is a big leap compared to four years ago, when M-Pesa was first launched in the country, and there was a slow growth recorded in terms of service subscriptions.

"The increase in our mobile money service uptake is a result of providing customers a safe and consistent way of sending money across the country, he said, adding that as the growth trend shows, we are confident that by the end of this year, we will be able to create a strong customer database."

M-Pesa is a total payment solution which does not require users to have bank account - an important consideration in Tanzania where millions of people do not operate bank accounts and can barely meet the minimum qualifications to open account.

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