The number of registered mobile money accounts increased by 6.6 million between January and November last year as Kenyans took advantage of a waiver on money transfer charges for amounts up to Sh1,000, CBK data shows.
Data from the Central Bank shows that the number of mobile money accounts jumped 11 per cent to hit 65.8 million accounts.
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge in March announced a waiver in money transfer charges on amounts not exceeding Sh1,000 in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. By going cashless, it was expected that minimising physical contact with cash during everyday transactions would help combat the spread of coronavirus.
But in December, the State announced the end of the waiver, effective January 1, 2021, as the government rolled back on emergency Covid-19 relief measures as it seeks to stimulate revenue collection.
The value of mobile money transactions also rose month after month between January and November, save for a solitary dip between March and April when the disease was first announced in the country, sparking economic fear.
The amount of money transacted by mobile money agents stood at Sh371 billion in January and grew by 41 per cent to gross Sh526 billion in November. The number of active mobile money agents increased by 24 per cent to 275,960 in November compared to 222,211 agents in the same period in 2019.
“As was the case last quarter (fourth quarter of financial year 2019-2020), the values transacted on mobile money platforms continued to increase with the adoption of cashless payments aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19,” the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said of the rise in mobile transactions in a quarterly report last week.