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Vodacom Tanzania preps to pay out M-Pesa customers

By , ITWeb
Tanzania , 02 Feb 2021

Vodacom Tanzania has announced it will pay a total of TZS 3,928,312,789 (US$1.6-million) in dividend to its M-Pesa customers who have used the service over the past year.

The company said the dividend payment covers the first quarter of the company’s financial year.

Vodacom’s M-Commerce Director Epimack Mbeteni said that the profit will be paid to all individual customers, retail agents and other M-Pesa business partners who will receive payment based transactions made via their mobile wallets.

“Our mobile money service, M-Pesa, continues to be a remarkable success story, delivering significant social and financial value to Tanzanians. We have seen substantial growth on the M-Pesa platform with more customers, agents, merchants and institutions transacting around TZS 100 billion each day. In line with regulations of the Central Bank of Tanzania, interest earned from the deposit is periodically shared with the customers. Today we are happy to share a dividend of Tzs 3.9 Billion (equivalent to US$ 1.6-million).”

Vodacom Tanzania says according to TCRA (Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority) it has over 11 million customers on its M-Pesa platform representing a market share of 40%.

The company adds that to date, it has paid out a total of Tsh 143.5 billion (over US$ 62-million) as interest pay out since July 2015 when Bank of Tanzania enacted the regulation.

Mbeteni added that the profit share per customer is calculated as per the Bank of Tanzania circular and will depend on, among other things, the level of activity they would have had on M-Pesa for the said period.

“We have started distributing the money to customer M-Pesa wallets. Customers can SMS the word AMOUNT to 15300 to find out how much interest they will receive. Upon receiving the disbursed amount, M-Pesa customers can redeem the interest via cash withdrawal, airtime or bundle purchases or even transact the bonus to pay bills or purchase products” he added.

Going forward the company plans to increase its customer base using its mobile money offering and expand its enterprise services, with a focus on strategic partnerships.

Spectrum delay

In a separate announcement, the Vodacom Group released a trading update for the quarter ended 31 December 2020 and reiterated its participation in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) High Demand Spectrum auction as a key strategic priority for the Group in the quarter ahead.

Warning of the potential impact of any further delays in the assignment of spectrum, Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO said: “In addition to our ongoing COVID-19 response and ensuring that we continue to invest significantly in our network to accommodate rapid shifts in customer behaviour, participating in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) High Demand Spectrum auction is a key strategic priority for the Group in the quarter ahead. We see the assignment of spectrum as instrumental in extending coverage, improving quality of service and lowering the cost to communicate in South Africa. Any further delays to this process will likely have a negative impact on consumers.”

He added: “Normalised growth across our International operations showed a marked improvement in the quarter. Revenues from M-Pesa increased 10.1%, largely the result of a 7.7% increase in customers, with almost 16 million people - or just under half of our International customer base - now making use of our M-Pesa platform. Including Safaricom, monthly M-Pesa transactions were US$24.2 billion, up 57.8% year-on-year. Also, the positive societal impact of the M-Pesa platform continues to expand. As an example, in Mozambique, NGOs are now able to distribute cash through M-Pesa, with over 300 000 households expected to benefit from this initiative.”

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