Safaricom has many ways of making money. However, its biggest asset has been M-PESA, and all other products and services associated with it. The telco has incorporated a lot of products into the mobile money product: Lipa na M-PESA, M-Shwari, KCB M-PESA, Fuliza, M-PESA Global, name them, and these services have been created to bolster the company’s revenues.
Let’s take a look at recent developments. The M-PESA super app has been around for more than two years, and it bundles all M-PESA services into one app. It also allows partners to publish their mini apps in it so you don’t have to download their individual apps for your smartphone. The carrier reports that it has since published 32 mini apps on the M-PESA app. For FY22, there were over 2.7 million 30-day active users, with 1.1 million transacting and 249K business app downloads.
The launch of Halal Pesa in March 2022, which we covered here, was also done by the telco to drive inclusivity of unserved markets. The product is Shariah-complaint and allows its users to access credit and savings. There were over 2 million opt-ins during the FY22 period.
M-PESA Global Pay Virtual Visa Card was also announced mid-2022. The widely publicized product allows customers to make international purchases via M-PESA thanks to a partnership with VISA.
As some of you may have noticed, M-PESA statements for customers and merchants now have a Safaricom e-stamp on every page. This means that there is no need of visiting a shop to get your statement stamped.
The service incorporates a unique alpha-numeric code at the bottom of every page, empowering banks, Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOs) and financial services institutions (FSIs) to confirm the statement’s validity – Safaricom in a statement
The overdraft facility is one of Safaricom’s biggest money-makers ever since it was launched. Its rates have since been reduced, but it has raked in some impressive numbers (for the telco) over the FY22 period.
For instance, Fuliza M-PESA enabled a total of 1.4 billion transactions totaling KES 502.6 billion in value.
The product was launched back in 2020, targeting business owners who may not have pay or pay bill numbers, but want to separate payments from their personal M-PESA account.
The product is interesting because often, customers usually send cash to personal M-PESA accounts of food vendors, small kiosk owners, boda-boda operators, and second-hand clothes dealers, name them, who do not have a business line (Lipa na M-PESA).
Pochi la Biashara now has over three million signed-up micro businesses with more than 170 000 monthly active users. Revenue generated in FY22 was KES 80 999 088.
Business Transacting Till
This is an extension of Lipa na M-PESA Buy Goods Till, which allows small business owners to collect payments on their rill, and then use the funds to make other payments directly from their till. The payments may entail wages/salaries, withdrawal of funds from an M-PESA agent, the sale of airtime to customers, and the earning of commission without needing to go to the bank or phone as was the case with the original Buy Goods Till product.
Over the reporting period, there were 169 763 monthly active users, a revenue of KES827 018 589, and values for these secondary transactions grew by 85% year-on-year.
|Revenue in KES Billion
|No. of M-PESA users (million: 30-day active)
|No. of Lipa na M-PESA merchants
|Diaspora remittances via M-PESA Global (KES Billion)
|No. of customers (million: active users)
|M-Shwari deposits (KES billion)
|M-Shwari loans (KES billion)
|No. of transactions (million)
|Amount disbursed (KES billion)