Airtel Money Registers Negative Growth as Mobile Money Subscribers hit 27.7 Million



The Communication Authority of Kenya released the fourth quarter statistics report  for the period between April and June 2015 on the mobile telephony sector. The report details among other things mobile money statistics, internet penetration as well as data on market share of all the telcos. It also offers insight on courier services and postal services.

Under the period, mobile money subscriptions grew to 27.7 million representing a 3.5% growth. The number of mobile money agents over the same period grew to 129,357 active agents which was a 16.7% increase from 110,882 active agents in the same period last year. According to Juniper, Kenya continues to lead the world in mobile money usage, with revenues projected at 2 billion dollars in 2015 and set to hit 4 billion dollars annually by 2018 which explains the growth in mobile money services.

According to the report, all mobile service providers registered growth with the exception of  Airtel Kenya. In the period, Airtel Kenya saw a drop in both the number of mobile subscribers and agents compared to the last quarter report as well as annually. The telcos mobile money subscribers declined  to 3,119,812 from 3,122,519 in the 3rd quarter. On an annual basis, the subscribers fell by 3.7% from 3,238,754. The number of mobile agents fell 0.3% to 9,857 from 10,179. In recent times, Airtel Kenya has been lobbying the Ministry of ICT and Communication Authority of Kenya to declare Safaricom the dominant player in the local market. In addition, Safaricom was forced to open up its mobile money network, which stands at 87,000 agents to Airtel but there seems to be little or no impact.

Safaricom leads in the Mobile money front with 21 Million subscribers followed by Airtel with 3 million subscribers. Mobikash comes third with 1.5 million subscribers followed by Equitel with 856,000 subscribers. Tangaza money follows with 500,000 subscribers and Orange Money comes 190,000 subscribers. Of interest to note is the steady growth of Equity Bank’s Equitel with each customer said to make an average of 19 transactions on the service, with a set target of 120 transactions per month by mid 2016.