Kenyans prefer receiving money on mobile: Study

Sharon Kinyanjui.

WorldRemit's Director for Europe Middle East and Africa Receive Markets Sharon Kinyanjui.

Photo credit: Victor Raballa | Nation Media Group

Global digital payment firms are angling to take advantage of the growing digital appetite of Kenyans to cash in on the country’s top foreign exchange earner.

The transformation accelerated by the emergence of Covid-19 in March 2020 has served to speed up technological tools that have propelled digitisation that facilitate diaspora remittances, which is ahead of tourism, tea and horticultural exports.

In a bid to offer better client experience, WorldRemit's Director for Europe Middle East and Africa Receive Markets Sharon Kinyanjui said enabling quick money transfers from migrant workers has helped them to make meaningful contributions to Kenya’s growth and development.

 “We continue to grow in Kenya and across the region in part, thanks to our digital payout channels,” Ms Kinyanjui said.

Although users can still pick cash at selected locations, she pointed out, more of them are opting to receive money on mobile and bank payout options.

She noted that the London-based company has realised a spike of remittances following the reopening of schools this month.

Other than education, other major uses of remittances include medical expenses according to a research conducted by WorldRemit.

Sh1.08 trillion

"We expect to see high transaction volumes to pick up as we head into the holiday period, with the US remaining a key source of inflows,” she said.

The top sources of remittances include the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia and Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia, United Arabs Emirates and Qatar, among others.

The firm, which has a presence in more than 150 countries, processed over 50 million customer payments worth Sh1.08 trillion last year.

They also lowered transaction fees for international transfers in over 450 of its larger corridors in Africa, allowing customers to send more to family and friends via the mobile app and website.

Ms Kinyanjui noted that the price drop represented the largest pricing reduction in terms of the number of corridors for the business.

According to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are three million Kenyans living abroad.

The main activities of the diaspora community include studying, jobs while others have ventured into entrepreneurship.

Statistics from Central Bank of Kenya indicated that cumulative inflows for the 12 months to August 2021 totaled $3,481 million (Sh383.6billion) compared to $2,921 million (321.8billion) in the same period in 2020, representing a 19.2 per cent increase.