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Contagious Case study


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Contagious Case study

  1. 1. Safaricom/This article appeared in Contagous issue Thirty Four.Contagous is an intelligence resource for theglobal marketing communiy focusing onnon-tradiional media and emergng technologeswww.contagiousmagazine.comFor more information please email the team onsales@contagiousmagazine.comCASE STUDY
  2. 2. case study / patagonianews / quarterly round-uptransformative telcocase study / safaricom /
  3. 3. In Kenya if you want to transfer money you don’tneed to rely on your bank. If you want medicaladvice, you don’t need to visit the doctor’s clinic.And if you want to light your home you don’t needto find an energy supplier. Instead, Kenyans cancall on telecommunications company Safaricom.Not only the nation’s biggest telco, but also itsbiggest company by market value, Safaricom isdevoting itself to building services that improvethe lives of the 19 million Kenyans it counts as itscustomers /By Chloe MarkowiczBrand DNAFounded /2000HQ /Nairobi, Kenyastores /36Employees /2,660Product /Mobile telecommunication services:voice, messaging, data and fixedbroadbandMISSION /Transform livesWHY CONTAGIOUS /Rooted in Kenyan culture, it hascreated mobile-powered servicesthat improve people’s quality of life inareas such as health, medicine andenergy provisionCASE STUDYSafaricom /Transformative Telco /Bob Collymore,SafaricomOur success is notmeasured by the profits wemake but by the differencewe make.’48 / 49contagious
  4. 4. case study / safaricom /For Kenyans, the mobile phone issuch a lifeline that some will forgobuying soap or sustenance so thatthey can add credit to their handsets.A 2012 study by iHub Research andResearch Solutions Africa found that20% of Kenyans earning under $2.50a day were ready to make real sac-rifices, including going without food,so they could buy airtime.While few people own a laptop in Sub-Saharan Africa, cell-phone ownership has been rising dramatically. According toglobal mobile association GSMA, it has climbed from just1% in 2000 to 54% in 2012. What’s more, The Economistreported last year that there are 74 mobiles for every 100Kenyans, compared with the African average of 65. Mobiletechnology provides a source of economic and socialempowerment for Kenyans, and no company understandsthis better than local telco Safaricom.SERVICING CUSTOMERS /Safaricom has developed services based around the mobilephone, including payments platform M-PESA, that have hada radical effect on Kenyan society. ‘Safaricom is the catalystthat has transformed the country at grassroots level,’ saysGaurav Singh, who was general manager of Safaricom’sdigital marketing agency Squad Digital before becomingchief digital officer of Scangroup, which owns the agency.‘Although it started as a telecommunications company, it isproviding services to each and every sector.’Price wars / Safaricom’s services help the company differ-entiate itself within the competitive telecoms market. ‘To acertain point all mobile phone companies are essentially thesame in terms of coverage and technology,’ says SafaricomCEO Bob Collymore. ‘So, where do you compete? Well, theonly place left to compete is price.’Yet Safaricom is hesitant to be dragged into a price war,even charging customers up to 30-40% more than its com-petitors Airtel, Essar and Orange. Safaricom had launchedits mobile payment system M-PESA (pesa is Swahili formoney) back in 2007, but it was only when Indian-ownedAirtel entered the African market in June 2010 that Safa-ricom felt pushed to focus more on services. ‘Airtel boughtout 16 African telco companies and had the largest Pan-African presence in the market,’ says Singh. ‘Everyone knewthat they had deep pockets and were going to fight on price.So instead of [doing] that, we added more layers of value ontop of our products.’Safaricom is the catalyst thathas transformed the countryat grassroots level. Although itstarted as a telecommunicationcompany, it is providing servicesto each and every sector.Gaurav Singh, Scangroup
  5. 5. contagious 50 / 51UNDERSTANDING KENYANS /As a local company, Safaricom is perhaps better placedto understand the Kenyan customer than its foreign com-petitors. M-PESA, for example, became successful in partbecause the service answered an unmet local need, provid-ing financial services to Kenyans who do not have access toa bank account. Last year the service, which enables cus-tomers to use mobile airtime to transfer money to relatives oreven pay bills, accounted for nearly a third of the company’sprofits.‘Because our staff [of around 2,660 people] is almost100% Kenyan we understand how Kenyans think andbehave and what motivates them,’ says Collymore, eventhough he himself isn’t Kenyan. A native of Guyana, Col-lymore was educated in the UK and previously worked forBritish Telecom and for Vodafone in the UK and Japan.Local identity / The company was founded as part of thestate-owned Kenya Posts & Telecommunications Corp. Itwas incorporated in 1997 and then began its commercialoperations as Safaricom in 2000. While UK telco giantVodafone has a 40% stake in the company (alongside theKenyan government’s 35% stake) Collymore says that sinceSafaricom is a Vodafone affiliate, not a subsidiary, it enablesthe company to retain its Kenyan identity.Collymore contrasts this with Safaricom’s competi-tors who all have foreign parentage: France Télécom ownsOrange, India’s Bharti owns Airtel, while Essar is owned byIndian company Essar Telecom. ‘They are tempted to takewhat’s worked in other markets and try to bring it here,’ saysCollymore. The CEO explains that Safaricom is insteadfocused squarely on the needs of Kenyans, in particular low-income citizens. Safaricom’s services are therefore basedmore around ‘life and livelihood, versus lifestyle’, says Singh.MOBILE MONEY /M-PESA / M-PESA has been successful because so manyAfricans live in rural areas and have limited access to banks(in 2009 the World Bank reported that 70% of people wereunbanked or underbanked). To transfer money via M-PESA,Safaricom customers do not need a bank account, bankcard, or smartphone. Instead they purchase electronic fundsvia one of the 55,000 M-PESA agents across the country.The recipient can then retrieve the money in cash from anM-PESA agent near them. Users can withdraw, deposit,or send between 50 Kenyan shillings (KES) ($0.58) andKES70,000 ($807) per transaction.M-PESA has more than 15.2 million active users in Kenya(the country has a population of 41 million) and sees aroundKES80bn a month ($922m) transferred between accounts,which represents more than 30% of Kenyan GDP. WindsorHolden, research director at UK-based research firm JuniperResearch, says that while M-PESA has many would-be imita-tors, it flourished in Kenya for two key reasons: ‘Firstly, due toSafaricom’s pre-eminence within the marketplace; second,what has been referred to as a regulatory attitude of “benignneglect”. Many mobile network operators have found finan-cial regulators far less amenable when it has come to theestablishment of a mobile payments service.’
  6. 6. case study / safaricom /Mobile saving and loans / Building on the success ofM-PESA, in November 2012 Safaricom launched a serviceenabling its customers to save money and apply for loansusing their mobiles. The M-Shwari service was created incollaboration with the Commercial Bank of Africa. Despitelegal accusations (vehemently rejected by Safaricom) thatthe service breaches the intellectual property rights of micro-finance institution Faulu Kenya, Safaricom customers haveembraced the service. So far M-Shwari has accumulatedmore than one million registered users and deposits of nearlyKES1bn ($11.6m).M-Shwari encourages a culture of microsaving as itallows customers to deposit as little as KES1 ($0.01).To be eligible for an M-Shwariloan, which can be as much asKES100,000 ($1,160), usersmust be a Safaricom customer,have used M-PESA for at leastsix months, and have depos-ited money into their M-Shwariaccounts. Customers get a 7.5%interest rate and must pay backtheir loans in full after one month,rather than in instalments.TRANSFORMING LIVES /Mobile solar power / Collymore claims that M-PESAwasn’t set up to make money but to ‘transform lives’ andthat has been Safaricom’s mission. In the energy sector,Safaricom has helped improve the lives of its low-incomecustomer base by making solar power not just accessiblebut affordable. It partnered with mobile-tech companyM-KOPA (whose founders and senior management workedon M-PESA) to create a pay-as-you-go solar power servicepowered by M-PESA; this is a useful invention for a countrywhere 70 to 80% of the population has no access to theelectricity grid.The system works via a solar panel on the roof that con-nects to a control box in the customer’s house and cancharge a phone and power three light bulbs. Users pay onan instalment basis and can monitor their remaining creditthrough their phones. Safaricom is able to help customersat the bottom of the economic pyramid because it is familiarwith how these people live day to day. ‘We understand theneed for a child to have light at night so they can do theirhomework,’ says Collymore. ‘We understand the need tocharge a mobile phone. The only way to charge a phone inmuch of Kenya is to pay someone KES10 ($0.12).’Services such as M-KOPA can help Safaricom remainrelevant in a market that is approaching saturation. ‘Safari-com’s key challenge is to sustain or enhance ARPU [averagerevenue per user] in the face of a costs base which will con-tinue to rise,’ says Windsor Holden of Juniper Research. ‘Ithas thus far been noticeably successful in this regard thanksto the expansion of M-PESA into a range of related areas,together with the launch of services such as m-health ande-learning.’Simon Andrews, founder of London-based mobile agencyaddictive, suggests that western telcos can learn from Safa-ricom’s model. ‘Safaricom saw a consumer problem thatneeded fixing – people found it hard to get money back totheir family,’ he says. ‘They realised they could solve one oftheir business problems – customer acquisition and churn –if they helped people move money around. Western telecomsneed to take the same approach and be customer-centric,understanding what their problems are and solving them.’M-HEALTH /If Safaricom’s mission is to transform lives it would be foolishnot to consider what the company can do to improve health-care in the region. Safaricom isnot the only African telco to realisewhat a powerful tool the mobilephone can be within the healthcaresector. The patient to doctor ratioin Kenya is about 10,000 to one;with most doctors living in urbancentres, the 30 million Kenyansliving in the countryside have littleor no access to medical facilities.However, almost every adult (70%of the population) has a mobile.To provide customers withbetter access to medical advice, Safaricom created mobilehealth tool Daktari 1525 (daktari is Swahili for doctor). Thetelco teamed up with medical advice hotline Call-a-Doc toenable their customers to receive medical advice by calling1525 on their handsets. The calls are subsidised by Safari-com and cost KES10 a minute to cover the doctors’ fees.In its first four months the service received 80,000 calls,amounting to 703 calls a day. Daktari 1525 won the Purposeaward at the Most Contagious event in London in December2012.GIVING BACK /Services like Daktari 1525 and M-KOPA help build the com-pany’s reputation as caring about the community. ‘It’s notthat I want to be here as a philanthropist,’ says Collymore,‘but the mobile is a really powerful piece of technology, sohow can we use it to improve society?’Charitable initiatives are in fact a major facet ofSafaricom’s public image and an important tool in its commu-nications arsenal. ‘We know that we are charging a premium,but at the same time we are standing up for the causes thatare at the heart of each and every thing that happens in ourcustomers’ daily lives,’ explains Scangroup’s Singh. ‘Ourcharitable work keeps the focus away from cost and towardswhat we are doing for society at large.’Safaricom’s corporate responsibility endeavours areanchored by both the Safaricom Foundation and the M-PESAFoundation. ‘We work in health, education, environmentalconservation, economic empowerment, disaster response,and do water projects,’ says Sanda Ojiambo, Safaricomhead of Corporate Responsibility.Number of M-Shwariregistered usersCellphone ownershipin Sub-Saharan Africain 2012, up from 1% in20001 million54%Western telecoms need totake the same approachand be customer-centric,understanding what[consumers’] problems areand solving them.Simon Andrews, addictiveMonthly amounttransferred viaM-PESA$922m
  7. 7. contagious 52 / 53The mobile is a reallypowerful piece oftechnology, so how canwe use it to improvesociety?.’Bob Collymore, SafaricomWe know we are charginga premium but at the sametime we are standing upfor the causes that are atthe heart of each and everything that happens in ourcustomers’ daily lives.Gaurav Singh, Scangroup
  8. 8. case study / patagoniaFrictionlessvotingPositiveshoppingexperiencenotbusinessas usual36 storesnation-widecase study /safaricom /Digitising Kenya’s electionsAhead of Kenya’s elections in March,Safaricom worked with the country’selectoral commission to developtechnology to make the voting processmore frictionless. Safaricom created anapp that informed voters of their nearestpolling station and an online platform tohelp simplify registration.As Contagious went to press theupcoming elections presented a realthreat to Kenya’s stability and there werefears that the violence of 2008 would berepeated. The government announcedit would be monitoring social media forabusive or threatening language. Anyonefound inciting violence or using hatefullanguage on Facebook or Twitter couldface up to three years in prison. ‘There’sa lot of attention on the elections,’says Victoria Kaigai, Safaricom head ofCorporate Communications and PR. ‘It’snot business as usual.’Safaricom’s retail structureMost people’s first engagement withSafaricom is at one of the brand’s 36stores nationwide. Safaricom has investedheavily in building good experiences at itsretail outlets, ensuring that the stores arecolourful and airy. ‘In Africa we have avery oral culture. We’re not like in Europewhere people are happy to do everythingonline only,’ explains Kaigai. ‘People stillwant to walk into a Safaricom Shop, theywant to call customer care and talk tosomeone.’In addition to the Shops that sellhandsets, laptops, and accessories,Safaricom has 400 stores run byauthorised dealers that exclusively selllow-cost handsets and Safaricom airtime.Across the country Safaricom also hasaround 250,000 retailers that mainly sellairtime in smaller denominations.
  9. 9. contagious 54 / 55Kenyans for Kenya / One of Safaricom’s most success-ful CSR campaigns encouraged Kenyans to use the telco’smobile payment system to help their fellow citizens. In July2011 a drought in northern Kenya caused the country’sworst famine in six decades. Safaricom partnered with thebank KCB Foundation and media owners on a campaign thatused M-PESA to help the Red Cross raise funds for foodand medical aid.The campaign saw close to 650,000 Kenyans donatingthrough M-PESA, raised KES677m ($8m) and generatedKES216m ($2.5m) in free publicity.Bring Zack Back Home / Last year Safaricom again usedM-PESA as a fundraising tool, this time to help raise moneyfor a spinal injury rehabilitation centre. Though spinal injuriesare increasingly common in Kenya as a result of road acci-dents or shootings, there is no proper rehabilitation centre inthe country, with the closest one beingin Cape Town, South Africa.To raise the necessary KES250m($3m), Zackary Kimotho, backed bySafaricom and the Kenya Paraple-gic Organization, vowed to travel the4,000 kilometres from Nairobi to CapeTown in his wheelchair. Once an up-and-coming veterinarian,Kimotho was paralysed as a result of an attempted carjack-ing attack in 2004.Supporters could follow his progress via a tracker onthe Bring Zack Back Home website, watch videos of Kimo-tho telling his story and engage with content on Twitter andFacebook. Braving extreme weather conditions and aggres-sive drivers, Kimotho returned home after travelling 115kilometres. The first phase of the campaign ended when thefundraising license ran out and, while it’s unclear when thesecond phase of the campaign can start, Kimotho was ableto raise KES73m ($839,566) in 60 days, enough to pur-chase the land for the new rehabilitation centre.Speaking out about road safety / Safaricom’s currentCSR focus is a three-year programme to improve road safety,since more than 3,000 Kenyans die in road accidents eachyear. Through the Toa Sauti (‘speak out’) initiative, Safaricomhas come together with government agencies, the police,and private companies, to help make Kenyan roads safer anddiscourage dangerous behavior, such as calling or textingwhile driving.The programme encourages people to report accidentsand hazardous drivers or commend good driving by dialing*700#. They can also report dangerous areas on the road byadding them to a Google map on the Toa Sauti website andsocial network sites. ‘We’re looking at it as a way of empow-ering people to correct bad behaviour,’ says Victoria Kaigai,Safaricom’s head of Corporate Communications and PR.DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS /Safaricom is highly active on social media. This representsa big change from a few years ago when Safaricom’s digitalstrategy revolved around pushing people to its online prop-erties through online ads, rather than via content platforms,says Singh of Scangroup.‘About 10 million Kenyans go online, that’s one out ofevery four Kenyans,’ says Kaigai. Safaricom is the most pop-ular Kenyan brand on Facebook (with more than 224,000fans), has more than 88,630 followers on Twitter, and isactive on Google+ and YouTube.According to a McKinsey survey, social networking is themost popular online activity for Africans and 57% of inter-net users reported that they used social networking sites‘often’. Kenyans are particularly heavy users of social media.In Kenya, Singh says, there are two million active Facebookusers and Kenyans spend about eight hours a week onsocial networks, compared with a global average of eighthours a month. It is therefore an obvious choice for Safari-com to engage on social media, particularly when reachingout to younger customers.Safaricom relies on its long-running events to help pop-ulate its social media content. These include the RunningWild Marathon, Niko Na Live– a music road show featuringKenyan artists – and the Safari-com Sevens rugby tournament.‘These events reinforce ourposition as a truly Kenyan com-pany,’ says Kaigai. The eventshelp create cachet for the brand amongst the youth, both atthe live events and through its digital assets.Transparency / While Safaricom understands the impact ofsocial media in communicating en masse to its customers,it is only now coming to grips with the challenges involved.‘You can’t hide anything when it comes to social media,’says Kaigai. Speaking about the wrath that Safaricom facedfrom its young consumers when it withdrew unlimited databundles, she adds: ‘Social media has allowed us to talk topeople we wouldn’t have talked to before. But we’ve alsogot the venom of people who maybe wouldn’t have reachedus before.’‘We can’t simply rely on conventional media to get ourmessage across,’ says Safaricom CEO Collymore, whohas almost 95,000 Twitter followers. ‘We now have to getinvolved in a conversation with people.’FUTURE GOALS /Making a difference / In 2012 Safaricom’s total revenuerose 13% to KES107bn ($1.24bn) and its customer basegrew 11% to 19.1 million, but CEO Collymore is loath togloat about financial accomplishments. ‘Our success is notmeasured by the profits we make, but by the difference wemake,’ he says. His goal is for Safaricom to remain relevantto Kenyan society and provide an example of corporate lead-ership as a company that can transform people’s lives. ‘Wedon’t set out to be the cheapest network in Kenya. We dohowever set out to be the network that makes the biggestdifference. We still have 65% or so of the market despitebeing more expensive than our competitors and the reasonfor that is the transformative effect that we set out to have. Ithink Kenyans know that we’re in this together.’225,000Number of Kenyanswho go online10 millionI think Kenyans know thatwe’re in this together.Bob Collymore, SafaricomNumber of Safaricom’sFacebook fansTime spent per weekby Kenyans on socialnetworks. The globalaverage is eight hours amonth8 hours
  10. 10. contagiousanalyst insight /SAFARICOM /By Danson Njue, Informa /AnalystInsightSafaricom represents Africa’s success story of a localmobile telecom that, against all odds, has become aleading converged services provider. Its passion forinnovation and service delivery has seen it grow itsmobile subscriptions to more than 19 million, maintainingthe market lead. Kenya’s telecom industry regulatorreports over 29 million mobile phone users, withSafaricom representing more than 60% of the total.Safaricom’s secret to maintaining and attractingcustomers lies in great customer service and theintroduction of new products and services. M-PESA, amobile money transfer service, has provided Safaricomwith the perfect tool to attract and retain customers. Itsadvanced 3G+ network offers a great data experience toits customers when compared with its competitors.However, increased competition as a result of the 2010price wars is challenging Safaricom’s position as themarket leader. Deteriorating quality of services (QoS)also threaten Safaricom’s position. The latest reportsby the industry regulator listed Safaricom as the worstoperator in 2012 in terms of QoS. To counter this,Safaricom has adopted various measures including areduction in its operating expenditure as well as anundertaking to expand its network and improve quality.According to research firm Ipsos, Safaricom reducedtotal ad-spend from KES3.1bn ($35m) in 2011 toKES1.6bn ($20m) in 2012. Despite this, Safaricom isstill ahead of its competitors in terms of the amount ofadvertising spend.Safaricom has adopted various strategies in responseto pressure from competitors. By evolving M-PESAinto an integrated mobile finance service that is beingbundled with other services, such as bill payments,Safaricom continues to improve its customer loyalty.This has enabled the company to greatly reduce overallchurn rates; Safaricom recorded a churn rate of 27.9%in the financial year ending 31 March 2012, comparedwith 30.8% the previous year. M-Shwari, Safaricom’smobile saving and loans service, has recorded greatsuccess, registering about 20 new users per minute,and surpassed KES1bn ($11.5m) in transactions onemonth after its launch. Safaricom also plans to launchan app-store to tap into the local app market, which willenable it to launch relevant content to its customers. Itis also involved in massive network upgrades, especiallyto rural un-served and under-served areas, to increaseits subscriber numbers and subsequently boost itsmarket share.Safaricoms future looks very promising. Competition inthe data market is expected to intensify and Safaricomstands in a better position when compared to its rivals.Danson Njue / Research Analyst /Informa Telecoms & Media, Nairobiwww.informa.com56 / 57Photo/SvenTorfinn
  11. 11. case study / safaricom /Brand Map / safaricomChallenge / Solutions /PAYMENTProtect market share amidst competitionfrom an aggressive new entrant.Maintain high price position and increaseaverage revenue per user (ARPU).Use brand equity to connect to Kenyans.Reduce churn by investing in services. Safaricom’s mobile payment systemM-PESA has dramatically altered thelives of unbanked Kenyans, making itpossible for them to send and receivemoney using just their phones. The newM-Shwari service builds on M-PESA’ssuccess by allowing users to save andborrow micro-sums.Although Safaricom’s target consumersare at the bottom of the economicpyramid, the company prefers to chargeup to 30-40% more than its competitorsrather than get dragged into a price war.PRICESOCIAL MEDIAWhen it comes to digital communicationsSafaricom is active on a host of socialmedia networks including Facebook,Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram.The brand’s social media strategyinvolves populating its online assets withcontent from its events, including theRunning Wild Marathon, the SafaricomSevens rugby tournament, and the NikoNa Live music road show.Value-added services in other sectorsfrom M-KOPA, which offers affordablesolar power, to Daktari 1525, a medicaladvice hotline that reaches out toKenyans who do not have access toa doctor, help build loyalty amongstSafaricom customers. These vitalservices, available only to customers,justify the premium price point.SERVICES PARTNERSHIPSWhether it comes to its services orcharity initiatives, the company reliesheavily on smart collaborations withappropriate partners. M-Shwari, forexample, was made possible througha partnership with the CommercialBank of Africa, while Daktari 1525 wasdeveloped through a partnership withmedical phone service Call-a-Doc.The telco takes corporate socialresponsibility seriously. Whether thisis raising funds to help drought victims(Kenyans for Kenya) or building aparaplegic rehabilitation centre (BringZack Back Home), Safaricom isdedicated to bettering its community.CHARITYLET US JOIN HANDS AS KENYANS FOR ONLYKSH 1 A DAY AND SUPPORT THIS NOBLE CAUSE.I, Zack, was injured 8 years agothrough a gunshot incident and Ihave been confined to a wheel chairsince then. I have embarked on awheel chair journey to the nearestrehabilitation centre in South Africa.It costs Ksh 10M to rehabilitate aspinal injury patient. If we had ourown rehabilitation center in Kenya,fellow Kenyans would not haveto struggle to raise money to seekrehabilitation away from home andfamily. I am doing this to get yourcontribution to raise Ksh 250 Millionin 60 days for the construction of asimilar facility here in Kenya. I amnow in Isinya, please do not let meget to the Kenyan period between June 9 and August 7, 2012.BRINGZACKBACKHOMEAdvertising Space Donated by The StarOur success is not measured by theprofits we make, but by the differencewe make. We don’t set out to be thecheapest network in Kenya. We dohowever set out to be the network thatmakes the biggest difference. We stillhave 65% or so of the market despitebeing more expensive than our com-petitors and the reason for that is thetransformative effect that we set out tohave. I think Kenyans know that we’rein this together.Bob Collymore, Safaricom
  12. 12. contagious 58 / 59Takeouts /Results /Place livelihood over lifestyle. Wherepublic services might exist but don’t,explore the potential of delivering brandedsolutions.Understand your customer and use thepower of local insight. Consider their day-to-day challenges and how your brandcan improve their lives.Value partnerships. By teaming up withthe right collaborators, Safaricom wasable to expand into new revenue areasoutside the telecommunications industry.Build services. Useful services can extenda brand’s offering, create differentiationin a crowded market, and help maintainprice point.19.1 millionThe number of Safaricom mobile subscriptions39,400The number of M-PESA agent outlets. M-PESA has14.9 million customers, 900 paybill partners and300 bulk payment partners67%Safaricom’s market shareSafaricom’s total revenue,up 13% for the yearending March 2012The numberof devices thatSafaricom sold inthe year endingMarch 2012KES107.00bn($1.24bn)Because our staff are almost100% Kenyan we understand howKenyans think and behave andwhat motivates them.Bob Collymore, Safaricom2.98 millionGrowth in M-PESA’sregistered customersfor the year endingMarch 20126%KES16.87bn($193.9m)M-PESA revenue for the year ending March 2012