Why would software developers in Kenya be interested in Safaricom’s financial results? Well, there are enough reasons to keep up with the performance of top companies. Investors anticipate such results for the dividend payout. Software developers see beyond the numbers.
One of the questions that arise every time Safaricom PLC announces its results is the low financial status of its clients. The company has maintained the largest share of the market since it was established 18 years ago. Other mobile services are still trying to catch up with the company’s strategies and increase their market share.
For software developers, the interest is in the products and their contribution to the company’s profits. Developers are also interested in the company’s technology and business strategy, given that many of them are entrepreneurs. Let us first look at the numbers that interest developers.
Safaricom financial year (2019) results at a glance
The telecommunication company gained 63.1b in revenues in the financial year ending 31 March 2019. One of the notable figures in the results is the contribution of Mpesa to the revenue. The platform now contributes 31.2% of the revenue.
Related: The Success Story of Mpesa in Kenya
Safaricom has been improving the Mpesa service. Today, the platform can handle about 1,200 transactions in a second. Think about this level of efficiency and processing capacity. Kenyans are still signing up for Mpesa services include new merchants.
In the reported financial year, the company registered 2.1m new customers. The total number of active Mpesa users is now 22.6m. Safaricom also introduced the Fuliza service that allows customers to overdraw their Mpesa account.
About 8.8m customers had already opted into the services within 3 months of its introduction. The transactions for the Fuliza service in the 3 months were estimated at 29 billion. Safaricom has also been building its global partnership.
Based on the results, more than 11,000 customers transact on the Mpesa-PayPal service per month. Mpesa customers are also using the service to purchase apps. The customers have purchased more than 5,200 app from Google PlayStore and paid via Mpesa.
The recently launched partnership with AliExpress is also taking shape. Money transfer via Western Union is possible to more than 500 agents and over 3 billion bank accounts around the world. Safaricom customers can transfer and receive money from any part of the globe.
Lessons for software developers
Reading the number is interesting, especially if you are a Safaricom customer or shareholder. However, we will go for the lessons and not the numbers for now. What can lessons can software developers in Kenya take home from these results?
1. The contribution of software developers
Safaricom’s largest service to its clients is voice calls. However, the Mpesa platform has grown to become one of its largest contributors to its revenues. In the reported financial year, the service contributed 31.2% of the revenues.
Mpesa is of interest to developer for several reasons. The service started as a software development project in school. Safaricom bought the idea and developed it to a popular means of mobile payments around the globe. How much more would developers achieve if their engaged their creativity right from college?
Software developers in Kenya can create similar solutions that can revolutionize business or any other field. The question is, are developers thinking beyond the current trends? Kenyan developers have the capacity to set new trends instead of copying global trends.
The increasing popularity of Mpesa is of interest to developers. The current demand in the market is for software development and Mpesa integration services in one package. As more clients sign up for Mpesa payments for local and global transactions, the demand for the integration services increases.
2. The rising demand for loans
Developers have introduced many loan apps in the Kenyan market. However, Kenyans are still looking for alternatives. In less than 3 months, more than 8 million Mpesa customers had already tried the Fuliza service.
The tough economic times are pushing mobile phone users to look for quick soft loans. The reality is that most loan app users are subscribed to more than one service. One is never enough because of the low limit at the beginning.
The market for loan apps is still ripe. With the right information on how the financial market works, new entrants will make money through loan apps. Another requirement is choosing the right developers.
Safaricom is already revolutionising the loan market with Fuliza. The company has also signed partnerships with financial institution to enable clients to access soft loans from their accounts. Hence, new entrants must think beyond the available services in the market.
We cannot emphasize the need for differentiating solutions enough. The tendency to copy ideas has moved to the software market as well. Differentiation sets a solution apart in the market, which translates to a higher number of active users.
3. Providing high-capacity solutions
Software developers in Kenya need to learn the art of introducing functional solutions from Safaricom. The Mpesa processes more than a thousand transactions in a second. The challenge here is for developers to create such efficient solutions to their clients.
Phone users have no time to wait for minutes for a page to load. If an app is slow or unreliable in delivering a service, users look for the next best alternative. Such moves are bad news to appreneurs.
If you want to get referrals from your clients, create outstanding solutions. Push every solution to the best performance level possible. Give the right advice to your clients to improve the performance and speed of their solutions.
Software engineering is not a walk in the park. It takes months to create an outstanding solution. However, developers can improve their speed of delivering their services. In addition, developers can learn some business development strategies from Safaricom such as product diversification.
Software developers in Kenya have a lot to learn from one of the leading companies in Kenya. Safaricom has set the pace in the telecommunication industry. Modern technology including software engineering technology has contributed to its outstanding results over the years. The consistency in offering reliable services in a turbulent economy is a challenge to all entrepreneurs including developers.