Nearly half of all mobile money agents in Tanzania are making at least US$100 profit a month, compared to the four per cent that are incurring losses, according to the Helix Institute for Digital Finance.
The research, compiled in the company’s Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Tanzania Country Report 2013, is a representative sample of over 2,000 mobile money surveys carried out in the country during 2013.
The study documented the country’s median mobile money income for agents is US$95, with those operating in Dar es Salaam earning US$115 per month and those in other urban areas as well as rural areas earning US$95 per month.
The higher income in the county’s business hub may be due to agent’s non-exclusivity to service providers. In Dar es Salaam, 84 per cent of agents serve more than one mobile money provider, while only 45 per cent and 38 per cent serve numerous operators in other urban areas and rural areas respectively.
According to the research the agents who are most profitable had either just started operating or have been operating from three or more areas while those operating from one to two years showed lower yields in income.
According to the Helix Institute claims of mobile money and network operator competition are overstated, with Vodacom controlling 55 per cent of the market share, followed by Tigo at 27 per cent and Airtel at 16 per cent.
“While Tanzania is often cited as a highly competitive market, over half of agents serve Vodacom countrywide, and out of is nearly two thirds of agencies,” the Helix Institute said.