Mobile money firms transferred Sh1.8trn in first quarter - report

"Eldoret West police boss Samuel Mutunga said he is part of a gang linked to thefts in M-Pesa shops in Machakos, Nakuru, Kakamega and Kitale." /FILE
"Eldoret West police boss Samuel Mutunga said he is part of a gang linked to thefts in M-Pesa shops in Machakos, Nakuru, Kakamega and Kitale." /FILE

Mobile money transactions in Kenya hit Sh1.87 trillion between January and March, according to latest statistics from the Communications Authority.

This is despite a drop in the number of mobile money transfer subscriptions by three per cent to 29.1 million compared to the same period in 2017.

From the transactions, the government, through a 10 per cent tax, pocketed Sh187 billion in revenue.

Under the new budget, Treasury CS Henry Rotich increased tax on mobile cash transfers to 12 per cent.

The use of mobile money to pay for goods and services stood at Sh1.2 trillion compared to Sh627.48 billion transacted over the same period last year.

Mobile money has over the years offered customers security and convenience.

subscriptions

Majority of the payments for goods ad services were carried out through Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform which commanded 77.24 per cent of mobile commerce transactions valued at Sh998.04 billion.

Equitel, associated with Equity Bank moved Sh290.29 billion while Airtel Money transacted Sh3.98 billion in mobile cash payments.

During the review period, person-person transfers grew 11.65 per cent to Sh581.11 billion.

The industry’s current mobile penetration stands at 95.1 per cent with 44.1 million mobile subscriptions. The rise in subscriptions saw a slight shift in market share where Safaricom lost 2.1 per cent to control 67 per cent of the market while Airtel gained 2.5 per cent to record a 19.7 per cent market share.

cross platform

This is set to change further following the introduction of cross-platform mobile money transfers in April.

The cross-platform mobile money transfers were introduced to level the playing field after other players complained they were unable to fairly compete with M-Pesa, the market leader.

Interoperability is yet to be broadened to include wallet to service providers, bank to wallet, and wallet to merchant.