People still prefer making calls to pass messages across and communicate, a factor that has lead voice revenues to be a on steady increase for Kenya’s mobile service provider – Safaricom – but other business areas are increasingly becoming significant revenue generators.
In its half year results for 2013/2014 recently, Safaricom states that its non-voice revenues – including SMS, M-Pesa and data – grew by 30 per cent to reach Kshs 24.3 billion while voice revenues increased by 12 per cent to reach 41.9 billion.
Safaricom’s current non-voice service revenues of Kshs 24.3 billion – which now account for 35 per cent of the firm’s total revenues – have been driven by increased customers and usage.
To break it down further, here is how the various services contributed to the total non-voice revenue growth: SMS recorded an increase of 49 per cent; mobile data increased by 43 per cent; fixed service were up by 21 per cent while M-Pesa revenues increased by 20 per cent.
The results states that M-Pesa was the major non-voice revenue driver after recording a 19 per cent increase in 30-day active users to 11.6 million; another 19 per cent increase in registered customers who now stand at 18.2 million as well as a 2 per cent increase in average number of transactions per customer.
Over the period in review, M-Pesa also had Kshs 94.8 billion of real time payments per month; person-to-person transfers rose to Kshs 77.3 billion per month (translating to a 16 per cent growth) while person-to-business increased to Kshs 9.9 billion per month, a growth of 88 per cent. Business-to-person transfers were Kshs 7.6 bilion per month, growing by 90 per cent.