Airtel Money, Airtel’s mobile money service now boasts of 3.3 million registered users in Kenya. This places it in second position behind Safaricom’s M-pesa with 20.1 million mobile money users and 13 million active subscribers and ahead of other mobile money providers that include MobiKash with 1.5 Million subscribers, Tangaza Money with 504,000 customers. Latest entrant Equity Bank, through its MNVO Finserve Africa Limited has 394,606 subscribers while Orange Money 190,129 customers.
Of the 3.3 Million registered users, only 300,000 are active monthly users. Airtel has since rolled out the service to subscribers on other networks as well as allowed for cross-border transactions on Airtel Money within the region. Airtel does an average of 40,000 send money transactions to M-pesa monthly through its platform. Airtel Money currently has a dealer network of more than 12,000 active agents which include banks, bank agents, supermarket chains and Posta outlets.
Last year, Airtel Kenya launched the Airtel Money VISA card in partnership with Chase Bank that allowed customers to withdraw cash from any Visa or Kenswitch ATM and conduct online transactions. Kshs. 20 million is transacted monthly using the card with 60% ATM withdrawals and 40% at VISA merchants with average transaction value at VISA merchants being Kshs. 2,500 per transaction. The Airtel Money Card mirrors the customer’s personal Airtel Money account. This means whatever balance the customer has in his personal Airtel money account, is equivalent to how much he has on the Airtel Money card. The Airtel Money VISA card is free as long as one is registered for Airtel Money but one need not have a Chase Bank account. Customers can access the services in from over 10,000 merchants nationwide.
Airtel is banking on adoption of the card by customers to drive uptake of its mobile money service. The Telco hopes to have 250,000 customers actively using the card by the end of the year. The card charges for ATM withdrawals at a Chase ATM, Kshs 50 for a Kenswitch ATM, Kshs 100 for a VISA local ATM and Kshs 250 for a VISA International ATM.