Safaricom’s mobile money service, M-Pesa, witnessed a significant surge in transactions during the financial year ending on March 31. The number of transactions per second on M-Pesa grew to 2,600, compared to the previous year’s 2,000 transactions.
This resulted in a total of 21.03 billion transactions valued at Sh35.86 trillion, nearly three times Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In 2022, M-Pesa recorded 15.75 billion transactions worth Sh29.5 trillion, indicating substantial growth.
M-Pesa Transacts Sh36 Trillion
According to the latest annual report from Safaricom, Kenya’s GDP is estimated at Sh12 trillion, as per the 2023 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. This means M-Pesa’s average transaction value increased to Sh1,343, compared to Sh1,245 in the same period of 2022, indicating either rising revenue among customers or increasing inflation.
The report states, “Velocity in the ecosystem continued to grow with the total value and volume of M-Pesa transactions growing 21.4 percent and 33.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.”
Chargeable transactions per one-month active customer grew by 16.2 percent during the reviewed year, reaching 23.54 transactions, up from 20.25 transactions in 2022.
Despite the impressive M-Pesa performance, Safaricom’s net earnings for the year ending March 2023 declined for the third consecutive year. The company experienced a 22.2 percent decrease in net earnings to Sh52.48 billion. This decline was attributed to significant investments in its Ethiopian subsidiary, tax hikes, cuts to the mobile termination rate, and foreign exchange challenges in Kenya.
In the previous year, Safaricom’s profit amounted to Sh67.496 billion. Safaricom’s operations in Ethiopia, which began in October the previous year, are expected to reach break-even after four years of operation. The Ethiopian segment of the company reported a net loss of Sh21.7 billion, while the Kenyan segment achieved a profit of Sh74.5 billion, driven by substantial growth in mobile data and mobile money.
The revenue from M-Pesa grew by 8.8 percent to Sh117.2 billion, marking a significant milestone as the income from mobile data crossed the Sh50 billion mark for the first time, with a growth of 10.7 percent to Sh53.6 billion.
Financial services, which experienced marginal growth of 0.7 percent year-on-year, were predominantly driven by Fuliza, where rates decreased by nearly 50 percent. The value of disbursements increased by 39.6 percent in FY23, rising from Sh502.6 billion to Sh701.5 billion.