Dar es Salaam — Slogans coined by telecommunication companies in promoting their mobile money platforms appear to be having the desired impact, latest statistics show.
Pesa ni M-Pesa (money is M-Pesa), Tigo Pesa ni Zaidi ya Pesa (Tigo Pesa is more than just money), T-Pesa's Rudi Nyumbani, Kumenoga (come back home, things have improved) and Airtel Money's Hakatwi Mtu Hapa, Tuma Pesa Bure (no deductions here, send money for free) are among marketing slogans which telecom firms have come up with in recent months to grow their mobile money subscriber numbers.
Data released by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) shows that Tanzania's six mobile money service providers registered 1,541,097 new subscribers in three months.
The total number of mobile money subscribers rose to 20,855,164 in June from 19,314,067 in March. The number as of June 2017 was 20,285,810.
TTCL's T-Pesa emerged as the fastest growing mobile money platform after expanding by a staggering 1,137 per cent in three months to 98,741 subscribers in June. The state-owned telecommunications firm had 7,980 mobile money subscribers in March.
Airtel Money was second after its subscriber base expanded by 25 per cent, or 836,934 subscribers, to 4,070,922 users from 3,233,988 subscribers recorded in March.
Vodacom Tanzania's M-Pesa is still the market leader in terms of the number of mobile money subscribers. The public listed firm roped in 417,684 new customers during the three-month period to take its total to 8,642,262 subscribers.
HaloPesa had 756,332 mobile money subscribers in June after gaining 146,562 new customers.
Despite adding only 30,745 new customers, Tigo Pesa retained its second position behind M-Pesa with 6,979,382 subscribers.
Zantel's Ezy Pesa saw its subscriber base grow to 307,525 in June from 289,114 in March.
With Tanzanians becoming more cautious in their spending, operators have shifted their focus from voice to mobile money, data and messaging services to grow their revenues and profits.
Vodacom Tanzania registered a net profit of Sh170.24 billion during the year ending March 2018 from Sh47.554 billion during the preceding year.
Revenues from M-Pesa rose by 16.7 per cent to Sh291.193 billion during the year ending March 2018 from Sh249.6 billion during the previous year.
Mobile data revenue rose by 34.7 per cent to Sh141.61 billion from Sh105.118 billion. During the same year, messaging revenue rose by 35 per cent, while voice income fell by 5.8 per cent.
TTCL communications manager Nicodemus Mushi said customers now have renewed faith in the company's services. This has resulted in steady growth in both voice and mobile money subscription numbers.