South Africa’s largest mobile network, vodafon, yesterday announced plans to shut down the popular mobile money transfer service, Mpesa, in June this year, after the product failed to flourish in S.A.
According to Vodacom’s CEO Shameel Joosub, Mpesa has failed to reach the targeted number of users in South Africa due to “high levels of financial inclusion” in the country.
“Based on our revised projections and high levels of financial inclusion in South Africa, there is little prospect of the M-Pesa product achieving this in its current format in the mid-term,” Shameel Joosub said in a statement.
Since its launch in S.A in 2010, Mpesa has only attracted 1M registered users in the last five years with only a record of 76,000 active subscribers even after Vodacom, a subsidiary of Vodafone revamped and relaunched the service in 2014.
A report by The Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP) report released las year, gave SA a score of 80%, 8 percentage points behind Kenya, in the overall ranking on financial inclusion.
MPESA MORE POPULAR IN KENYA
Unlike in South Africa where Mpesa has failed to succeed due to a popular banking sector, in Kenya, where the product was innovated, the mobile money service is very popular that it has posed a major threat to local banks.
Currently, the East Africa’s power house has 20M active Mpesa users with Tanzania coming in second with 7M users.
M-Pesa has become popular across the borders and Vodafone recently announced M-pesa had 25 million active customers, facilitating transactions of $1.2 billion each month with presence in Africa, Asia and Europe boosted by market launches in Albania and Ghana.