M-Pesa is the global market leader among mobile money transfer services worldwide, and it appears it will soon constitute the Kenyan operator’s primary driver of non-voice revenue, according to a study by Citigroup Global Markets. Currently M-Pesa is responsible for 18 percent of Safaricom’s revenue, compared to 8 percent from mobile data. Fifty-six percent of the operator’s subscribers are M-Pesa users.
The huge gap between M-Pesa and the competition is unlikely to be closed anytime soon, given that its revenue market share is now 85 percent. As a revenue producer for Safaricom, it is far ahead of data, which indicates that in this market, low-income users place a far greater priority on mobile money than on the types of entertainment content that drive data use in more developed markets. As a major driver of the economy in Kenya and elsewhere in sub-Saharan African, mobile money is bound to remain a key source of strength for Safaricom.