Inside Politics

Mobile money use by corporates hits Sh1.7tr

Thursday, April 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Mobile money. Photo/File

Steve Umidha @UmidhaSteve

Monthly mobile money transactions among businesses hit Sh1.7 trillion in December 2020 as Kenyans embraced technology to help curb spread of Covid-19.

The latest quarterly report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) indicates that business-to-business transactions increased by a whopping 27.5 per cent from Sh1.33 trillion in the month of September to Sh1.7 trillion transacted in December.

This affirms the growing popularity of mobile payment models in Kenya as a convenient means for purchase of goods and services.

Deposits through pay-bill and buy-goods till numbers increased by an average of Sh2.4 billion daily in the three months to December last year.

The industry report says  the value of deposit made across pay bill and till numbers surged by 24 per cent from Sh888 billion in September 2020, to Sh1.1 trillion in December last year, as more people registered for the services.

“The number of active registered mobile money subscriptions stood at 32.5 million, whereas number of active mobile money agents stood at 264,390 during the period under review.

The value of transfers across pay bill and till numbers also grew significantly,”  the report reads in part.

During the period under review, the popularity of mobile money payments platforms soared as the Health ministry and medical experts warned that handing of physical cash pose serious risk of the virus spread.

That encouraged the use of alternative means of transactions such an internet and mobile money transfers deepening its use in the country.

During that period, banks are estimated to have shed some 567 clerical and support staff but hired more managers amid increased investments on digital channels which eliminated the need for basic jobs.

Basic jobs

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) annual report showed that basic jobs like account opening, over-the-counter services and sales are moving onto digital platforms which not only provide money transfer but also credit and savings, payment for goods and services as well as e-commerce through linkages with various financial and non– financial institutions.

In total, Kenyans moved Sh5.21 trillion through their phones in 2020 with the total transactions rising by 20 per cent from Sh4.34 trillion the previous year.

It means that an average of Sh14.27 billion was transacted on mobile phones daily between January and December 2020 — some Sh2.81 billion higher than the Sh11.91 billion daily average in 2019.

Mobile phone based transactions increased 4 per cent from Sh367.77 billion in 2018 to Sh382.93 billion in 2019.

Mobile money agents of Safaricom’s M-Pesa, Airtel Money and Telkom’s Tkash handled Sh3.98 trillion in 2018— underling the impressive growth in the value of transactions in the last three years.

The industry figures further indicate that as at the end of the 2020, more and more services had moved to online, which has led to increase in consumption of data and internet with Safaricom and Jamii Telecommunication proving to be the most preferred brands for such services.

During the second quarter of Financial year 2020/21, the total internet subscriptions amounted to 44.4 million subscriptions.

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