MPESA: is it finally time Safaricom considered making it a separate entity?


#1

According to CA statistics MPESA recorded the lowest Person to Person transaction values among all mobile money platforms
Ranking is:
Equitel - 114 Billion
Airtel Money - 1.2 Billion
T-Kash - 729 Million
MPESA - 538 Million
I think it most likely may be due to mobile money interoperability and what makes it more interesting is that TKash just came in the other day and has a higher P2P transaction value than MPESA.
All the same this signals that MPESA is loosing favor with the common person as a means to send money to other people.
Is it time Safaricom considered making the platform a separate entity? Coz am thinking maybe this way MPESA can focus on research in this specific field, or better yet be in a better place to partner with other firms beyond Kenya


#2

I think that figure is not correct. Someone forgot to put 3 digits at the end.


#3

Might actually be right looking at my mledger only 10% of my transactions are to another person, the rest are pay bill and buy goods.


#4

Yes that figure definitely looks like an error. It’s probably 538 Billion. It can’t fall from 492 Billion to 538 Million in the span of 3 months while all other metrics are up in the same period.


#5

Unless now @sarunibm confirms this, but I’m looking at the numbers again and I think it actually is what it is, they don’t lie
Maybe we’re kinda having a hard time believing it coz we’ve gotten used to the narrative of Mpesa being the market leader n all, well seems things are changing
Come to think of it, it may even have prompted this “Maisha Ni Mpesa Tu” promo to encourage customers to make more transactions


#6

Aye @iamtembo, According to my understanding, this Mpesa Tu promo was ONLY meant to distract customers from paying much attention to the increased charges. Seriously, out of 10-20 people, its only 1 person who is aware of increased charges in details.


#7

Whoever wrote that article really was really looking forward to breaking some major news. Sensational headlines without fact checking just erodes your credibility.

Quarter 4 (2016-17) - 448 Billion

Quarter 1 - 448 Billion (Election period)

Quarter 2 - 493 Billion (Raila’s Safaricom boycott call)

Quarter 3 - 538 Million??? Do you really believe this?

This is clearly an error.

From the article
A year ago, commerce and person-to-person transactions were toe to toe but things have changed and we are not sure whether to blame economic hard times or M-Pesa’s seemingly higher transaction charges.

I do not have a business degree but I know for a fact that a 1-2 bob change in transaction fees cannot cause a 90%+ decline in P2P transactions in a span of one month. The economy is also on the rise compared to last year. (Election turmoil & drought)

Who absorbed the over 440 billion Kenyan shillings after Safaricom seemingly lost their ground?
Equity? Nope. Airtel? Nope. T-Kash? Nope.

Cryptocurrencies must have really taken off in the last 3 months, right? Or is it gold or goats?

Whoever wrote that CA statistics report was messing up a lot of values.

From the article

A scrutiny of the numbers by CA reveals that Safaricom’s M-Pesa users have transacted over 2.4 Trillion shillings over the past three months, impressive right?

Looking at a table with some figures is not what most people would call scrutiny, unless the meaning changed.


Source - http://ca.go.ke/index.php/statistics


#8

I don’t think it’s fair to blame Techweez for not fact checking, CA should be the one any person should lay blame on. Why? because techweez used data provided by the only agency which does that.

We cannot ask any other person to confirm if its true, since its only CA which does this work (as far as I know).


#9

You blame Techweez and quote figures with errors from CA. Point of reference should be CA and not Techweez.


#10

@deewinc @Omgitsdes

@sarunibm clearly did not bother to double check before publishing it. I understand errors do happen but this one was a very simple one to spot especially after you write this.

From the article

CA records that M-Pesa users have moved over 538 million shillings amongst themselves a far cry from the 424 billion they moved a similar period last year.

This is the part that prompted me to check the CA reports. Something was clearly off. There is no way you can go from 424 billion to 538 million in a year especially if you are Safaricom.


As we speak, the article is still there. It has not been updated to show that the CA numbers might be inaccurate.
It is the most shared article this week. It the 3rd most shared article in the last 2 weeks (> 35 posts).


There was an article from a few months ago about some new policy or something. In it, there was a response from the Communications Authority of Kenya after someone from Techweez contacted them.

They clearly have a way to contact someone at the CA.

Link: - http://www.techweez.com/2018/05/21/ca-mobile-devices-guidelines/
Written by: @sarunibm


I hold Techweez to a higher standard than most other Kenyan news websites. My friends and I talk about tech a lot and sometimes we quote articles from Techweez (Safaricom’s Songa & Faiba 4G are some great examples). I have come to expect factual and well researched articles from them.

I think this is why this article bothers me too much.


#11

I have tried calling CA but I don’t think my calls can be picked even in the least busy day :joy:. So I just sent them an email enquiring about the same. The figures don’t seem right but CA needs to make corrections immediately if its an error. I wonder who edits their reports :thinking: a whole ministry


#12

The same report (edit: from CA) says Faiba 4g only offers data services. I don’t know whether they meant voice is data or that you can’t make a voice call. My bet is on the latter.


#13

Am also really keen on what CA has to say, tweeted them about this but no reply yet


Hope they reply to your email we get answers


#14

Okay, let me address everyone on this issue, especially those faulting us for not “fact-checking”.

I personally went through the whole report for Q1 2018. Compared it with Q1 2017 because I wanted t understand what happened. Even went as far as reaching out to CA and before I hit publish on that article, I was certain of the numbers there.

Take my word on this, Safaricom, who read Techweez a lot, have not given us a call to alert us of any error. I know it’s a lot to take in but it seems that P2P transactions did take a beating…


#15

Faiba 4G only offers data services. Thus the need for VoLTE.

We would not want to lose that credibility and to be honest, this article would have been updated if we got any other figures from CA.

Like I said up there, I did a lot of checking. Even consulted a number of people on the same.


#16

But you can make a voice call…so saying it only offers data services is not correct.


#17

Through VoLTE, which is a data service.


#18

Yes, that’s what i was asking initially…did they mean you cannot make a voice call(in whatever format…volte etc) or voice is simply data?


#19

I have a response from Faiba4G regarding this:

Faiba4G offers voice and sms as well as data.

VoLTE is delivered via IP, the same way they deliver their SMS.

So what we now know is that everything on Faiba4G is through an LTE network, so yeah, CA can say that Faiba4G only offers data services.


#20

It can confuse those who don’t understand that VoLTE is a data service.

I think we can estimate the contentious figure.

From Safaricom; P2P Transactions for FY2018 amounted to KES 1,927 billion.
For the 1H2018, Safaricom did KES 896.0 billion in P2P transactions.
It means for the 2H2018 the company did KES 1,031 billion.
From the CA statistics, in the 4Q2018(which is 3Q2018 for safaricom) Safaricom did KES 493.0 billion in P2P transactions.

So in the last quarter Safaricom did KES 538.0 billion( KES 1,031 billion minus KES 493.0 billion)

Alternatively:
From CA; First 3 quarters for Safaricom(April to December) Safaricom did KES 1,388.3 billion in P2P transactions.
From Safaricom; P2P Transactions for the FY2018 amounted to KES 1,927.0 billion.
So the last quarter, P2P transactions amounted to KES 538.7 billion.