Airtel Kenya in new agency drive to catch up with M-pesa, Equitel

Money Transfer

Airtel is looking for external partners to help it sign up more mobile money agents in a renewed effort by the second largest telco to catch up with its competitors.

This is in the wake of continued growth in mobile money transfer services and competition in the market, which has seen the second-largest operator by market share, trail its bitter rival Safaricom with the number of agents and subscription.

“Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd invites proposals from suitably qualified organisations to build Airtel money agency through recruitment and management of new agents,” the company said in a notice published yesterday.

The company wants to expand its agent network in Nairobi, Coast, Eastern, Central, Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza, a move aimed at increasing Airtel Money subscribers.

Latest sector data shows Airtel despite launching its money transfer services in September 2011, it so far has 10,534 agents only as of December 2015, with a subscription of 3.7 million.

“Applicants are invited to submit a proposal indicating the regions in Kenya they deem to have a competitive edge in. All applications must be received by 11am, April 26, 2016,” the firm says in the notice. The communication authority quarterly report for 2015-16 shows as of December 2015, Airtel was fourth in the number of agents after Safaricom’s M-Pesa which enjoys a subscription of 19.2 million with 96,155 agents, Orange with 16,734 agents and Mobikash which had 16,523 agents across the country.

The number of transactions for Airtel in last quarter of 2015 stood at 2,371,068 with a value of Sh4.3 billion. Safaricom had Sh267.1 billion worth of transactions between October-December 2015. Newly launched Equitel had Sh17.9 billion worth of transactions, Mobikash had Sh1.2 billion while Orange had Sh65.2 million.
Source: The Star 14 April 2016