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Mobile money transfers hit Sh1.06 trillion in first quarter- CBK data

In Summary

•460.11 million transactions were reported meaning 3,550 mobile money transfers were taking place per minute at any given time

•Last year alone, at least Sh7.85 trillion was transacted in the form of deposits and withdrawals as well as mobile commerce transfers

Customers queue outside an M-Pesa shop in Nairobi
Customers queue outside an M-Pesa shop in Nairobi
Image: FILE

Kenyans moved Sh1.06 trillion through mobile cash transfers during the first quarter of the year, data by the Central Bank shows.

During the 90-day period, 460.11 million transactions were reported meaning 3,550 mobile money transfers were taking place per minute at any given time.

Last year alone, at least Sh7.85 trillion was transacted in the form of deposits and withdrawals as well as mobile commerce transfers, 91.39 per cent of the value of Kenya’s GDP at Sh8.59 trillion. This was a 35.25 per cent increase from Sh5.8 trillion transacted in 2017.

 

The continued expansion of mobile payments in which Kenya is a global leader has largely been at the expense of plastic cards payments’ whose growth has been stagnant over the past few years.

CBK data shows card transactions recorded during the review period stood at 23.95 million, representing less than mobile cash transfers Kenyans conduct. Over the three months, the value of card transfers stood at Sh163.93 billion.

The data however shows, although the number of card transactions declined from 24.63 million over the same period last year, the value of card transfers grew 38.49 per cent or Sh45.56 billion from Sh118.37 billion in 2018.

According to rating agency Moody’s mobile money services have pushed access to financial services to 83 per cent up from 26 per cent in the last 13 years.

In a sector in-depth report titled Bank of the future, the agency shows that at least 39 per cent of Kenyans now rely on mobile money services instead of banks to transact.

In September last year, the government slapped a 20 per cent excise duty on fees charged for money transfer services by banks, money transfer agencies and other financial service providers.

This came only weeks after National Treasury raised from 10 to 12 per cent fees for the service in the financial year 2018-2019. The move has however had a minimal effect on the growth in value of mobile cash transactions.

 

This saw telcos offering mobile money services increase charges on transactions to share the tax burden with consumers.

Safaricom PlC’s M-Pesa continues to dominate the country’s money transfer market, controlling 92.02 per cent of the total transactions, the majority of which are used to pay for goods and services.

Equitel Money ranks second followed by Airtel Money and Telkom’s T-Kash.