CC image courtesy of Kopo Kopo, Inc. on Flickr
Agents of Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile money service received KSh.10.6 billion (US$119.5 million) in total commissions for the year to March 2014, up almost 25 per cent on the previous year, although individual agents earn less as more agents join the network.
According to a report by Business Daily, Safaricom spends KSh.40 (US$0.45) out of every KSh.100 (US$1.12) generated from the M-Pesa service on compensating its network of agents.
In 2013, Safaricom paid out KSh.8.5 billion (US$95.8 million) to M-Pesa agents in Kenya, which grew to KSh.10.6 billion (US$119.5 million) this year; with the growth attributed to an increase in M-Pesa subscribers as well as the number of transactions carried out by customers.
The number of M-Pesa agents has grown from 17,653 in March 2010, to the current figure of 81,025.
As such, while an individual agent received an average commission of KSh.35,668 (US$402) in 2010, this figure declined to KSh.10,989 (US$124) per month in 2013 as the number of agents expands.
In 2013, Safaricom generated KSh.26.5 billion (US$298.7 million) in revenues from the M-Pesa service , accounting for a fifth of total turnover.
“Safaricom continues to push its transforming lives agenda by providing direct employment and indirectly to over 200,000 people country wide,” said Nzioka Waita, Safaricom’s director of corporate affairs.
“We continue to develop innovations that provide additional ways for our agents to earn deposit commissions, these include M-Shwari and the recently launched Lipa Na M-Pesa,” Waita said, adding that the operator is developing new products to enable agents to increase their commission-based income.