Vodafone has reported surging growth at its African mobile money platform M-Pesa. The UK company said that the number of transactions conducted over the mobile payments system shot up 44% in the 3 months to June to 4.5bn, with €63bn of funds transferred over it during that time.
Fifty per cent of Kenya’s gross domestic product is now carried over M-Pesa according to the country’s central bank, Vodafone chief executive Nick Read said on Friday. The service, which has more than 40m users across seven African countries, accounts for between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of GDP in some other markets and will soon launch in countries like Ethiopia where Vodafone does not have a telecoms network. The rising value of fintech companies in Europe and Africa has alerted Vodafone to the hidden value of M-Pesa on its balance sheet. Having split out its towers business this year, with Vantage Towers now listed in Germany at a €15bn market valuation, it is now separating out its financial services business into legally separate entities to “highlight the size and scale of that business” according to Read.