Equitel is taking on MPESA tortoise by tortoise

It should be “step by step” instead of “tortoise by tortoise”, but the steps Equitel is taking are tortoise steps.

A story is told of “a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch. Hare ran down the road for a while and then and paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, “How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?” Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, “There is plenty of time to relax.” Slow and Steady walked and walked. He never, ever stopped until he came to the finish line. The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise, they woke up Hare.Hare stretched and yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise was over the line”, and I believe this is the story that is giving hope to Equitel.

The story however says that unless MPESA goes to sleep, which probably they have done, Equitel stands no chance of ever taking over the mobile money market, at least not with their current market structure, a market structure that has allowed Equitel to grown from 23% market share the previous quarter to its current 26% market share.

According to a press statement sent by Finserve, ” Equitel has registered strong growth in its mobile money transfer market share to hit 26% up from 23% in the previous quarter as per the latest data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) fourth quarter report (April- June 2017) shows.”

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This new market share, the CA data says, accounted for transactions worth Ksh311.8 Billion in the fourth quarter of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, a 15 per cent increase from Ksh271.8 billion that was transacted in the quarter before. Equitel also registered a positive growth of 8.0 % in mobile subscriptions to post 1.8 million subscriptions during the period under review from 1.7 million recorded in the preceding quarter.

EazzyPay which is the mobile commerce solution on Equitel now accounts for 33% of the said market share, up from 30% in the preceding quarter. The value of mobile commerce transactions that were processed through EazzyPay stood at Ksh228 Billion, a 21 per cent increase from Ksh189 Billion that was transacted a fiscal quarter earlier.

The Bank is focused on increasing Equitel SIM uptake through its Thin SIM card which is particularly gaining prominence owing to the fact that it doesn’t necessitate getting a dual SIM phone or having 2 phones in case you don’t want to let go of your earlier acquired SIM Card.

If Equitel continues with the growth path trajectory, it will take her roughly 2.25 years to control half of the mobile money market. Hopefully MPESA will continue to lull.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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