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Kenya: Safaricom’s Ethiopia unit triples M-Pesa users to 3.1 million

Safaricom’s Ethiopia unit has witnessed a substantial growth in M-Pesa users, nearly tripling to 3.1 million within four months. The transactions conducted on the platform amount to Ksh18.5 billion ($115.3 million), indicating promising prospects for success in the populous country.

In the latest quarterly update, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia reported a significant milestone, closing December 2023 with 3.1 million M-Pesa users. This achievement marks the launch of the mobile money service by Safaricom’s Ethiopia subsidiary.

“We are very pleased with the optimism that M-Pesa has evoked in the youthful population of Ethiopia, and we look forward with great excitement to the transformation M-Pesa will bring to financial inclusion in Ethiopia,” said Safaricom chief executive Peter Ndegwa.

Safaricom’s Ethiopian subsidiary has witnessed an impressive surge in its mobile money customer base, nearly tripling to 3.1 million from 1.2 million users at the end of September. This heightened usage is reflected in the transaction value, which has risen over six times to Ksh18.5 billion from Ksh3 billion ($18.7 million) as of September.

The Ethiopia unit has witnessed significant growth, increasing active M-Pesa merchants from 12,400 in September to 43,100 by the end of December. During this period, the volume of transactions more than quadrupled, rising from two million to 9.2 million.

The heightened usage of M-Pesa in Safaricom’s Ethiopia unit resulted in revenue of Ksh44.9 million ($279,750) between mid-August and the end of December. This surpassed the revenue generated by messaging services, which amounted to Ksh28.2 million ($175,700) in the nine months ended December.

The telco has achieved interoperability with nine lenders, including Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Dashen Bank, Bank of Abyssinia, Awash International Bank, Co-operative Bank of Oromia, Abay Bank, Hibret Bank, Berhan Bank, and Bunna Bank, facilitating M-Pesa to bank transactions.

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