Safaricom Not Rattled By Equitel Entry, Collymore Says The Market Still Big

Bob Collymore

Safaricom Tuesday announced the half year results with an impressive 79.3 Billion in revenues for the Half year 2015. Mpesa revenues were reported to hit 15.6 billion up from 12.5 billion. Mpesa revenues are second only to Voice revenues which stand at 43.8 billion. Safaricom has had a monopoly of all the services they offer with rivals Airtel and Orange sharing quite a tiny fraction of the services.

The same is reflected in mobile money where according to Bob Collymore, Safaricom is playing at over 90 percent in market-share. Mobile Virtual Network Operators entry to the market, especially Equitel which is owned by Equity Bank pose an interesting dynamic to the field. Airtel and Orange have not managed to create a noticeable dent in the mobile money market, and this is mostly because their customer acquisition strategy has not been effective where mobile money is concerned.

At the half year results announcement, and in an answer to a journalist question, Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO noted that Safaricom does not focus on the competition in their business but instead focuses on their partners. “94 percent of all transactions are still cash, and this means that the market is large enough for all players to come in and do business comfortably. We are not changing our strategy which has been there for the last 18 months and has worked quite well for us,” said Bob.

Equitel has already started the SIM card roll-out and as of last week the company reported that they already have 200,000 subscribers on the network, although this doesn’t say anything about active use. The approach of Equitel for now is to give the bank customers the SIM cards free at the banking halls and has not yet come out with a massive customer acquisition campaign.