Vodacom Tanzania PLC today marks 10 years since the introduction of Vodacom M-Pesa in Tanzania. Over the past decade, Vodacom M-Pesa has evolved into a robust ecosystem of services covering utility payments, mobile banking, savings and loans, international remittance and much more, this from simple mobile money transfer platform that it was in the beginning.

Today, Vodacom M-Pesa is the market leader in Tanzania with over 42% market share boasting over 8.2 million active users, 106 thousand agents, 2 thousand businesses, 15 thousand merchants and 30 banks linked to its network. Through its powerful ecosystem, M-Pesa has enabled people in both urban and rural areas of Tanzania become part of the formal financial system consequently spurring economic growth and further contributing towards the Nation’s financial inclusion index of 65% in 2017, up from 58% in 2013 and 44% in 2009.

Speaking to journalist at the Company’s headquarters, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director Ian Ferrao said, “The M-Pesa eco system has created more than 200,000 strong direct and indirect labor force – many first time entrepreneurs- making it possible for more than Tzs 617 Billion to be paid out as commissions to wakalas everywhere in Tanzania. More than Tzs 120 Billion has been issued as loans since the launch of M-Pawa (the savings and loans facility) in 2014 further enabling entrepreneurs to start new businesses and improve their lives. To date over Tzs 99 Billion has been issued as interest payment to our 8 million M-Pesa users in Tanzania and over Tzs 355 Billion is deposited in our trust accounts in various banks in Tanzania. This means that with M-Pesa, your money is constantly earning interest through the trust accounts.”

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The success of M-Pesa in the last decade marks the beginning of a bright future in digital payments in Tanzania. “M-Pesa has touched and transformed lives of millions of users across Tanzania alone. Ten years ago, an M-Pesa transaction meant one was simply sending or receiving funds from another. Today, the M-Pesa wallet is a vital part of everyday life and has since grown into a number of sophisticated possibilities which will continue to evolve over time. Vodacom’s M-Pesa is the first and only mobile money provider in Tanzania with QR codes further consolidating its leadership in innovation and technological investments not only in Tanzania but in Africa” he added.

Ian commented that the Company is proud of pioneering the mobile money innovation is Tanzania and stimulating economic growth of Tanzania in terms of employment creation, community empowerment, improving business efficiencies particularly for SMEs and its overall contribution to the national GDP. “Today over 35% of the National GDP is transactedvia M-Pesa every month and the number of transactions has grown to 1.2 trillion transactions per month” he said.

The commemoration comes shortly after Vodacom M-Pesa was awarded the GSMA Mobile Money certification for security and operational excellence putting Vodacom M-Pesa on the global arena as one of the first operators in the world to receive such a prestigious award.
Ian Ferrao pointed out that celebrations to mark the anniversary will take place in different regions in the Country as a means for the Company to show its appreciation to its staff, M-Pesa agent network, merchants and businesses for their contribution in the journey thus far.

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“Despite these wins, we at Vodacom believe that we have only just scratched the surface. Our vision is to lead Tanzania into the digital age and through M-Pesa we have a great vision to digitize payments in Tanzania. This is the beginning of many more successful decades to come where we envision radical transformation on M-Pesa. I see a Tanzania where anything a customer needs to pay for can be achieved through our M-Pesa App; where retailers can pay distributors and distributors can pay local and international suppliers from countries like China, America and beyond.”

“We thank our staff, customers, partners, regulators including BOT and TCRA and all other stakeholders for taking the journey with us. M-Pesa continues to be strong pillar of growth for Vodacom Tanzania. We are committed to driving the future of digital payments in the Country.” he concluded.