Mobile payments hit record Sh8trn on demand

Mobile money transfer

Data shows some 5.09 million new mobile money accounts were opened during the year

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Mobile payments hit a record Sh7.9trillion last year even as some 19,711 new money agents set up shop, driven by demand for cashless transactions.

Fresh data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows active mobile money agents hit 317,983 last year up from 298,272 active agents in the previous year.

This indicates that entrepreneurs have spotted a gap in the market to extend cash deposit and withdrawal services in places that had none or a few mobile money agents especially in rural areas.

Further, some 5.09 million new mobile money accounts were opened during the year bring to 73.12 million the total number of mobile money accounts in the country, up from 68.03 million in 2021 signalling increased demand for mobile money services.

More and more people are using mobile money to pay for their utility bills, shopping, betting, fare and other activities which saw mobile transactions hit Sh7.9 trillion for the first time.

This was a 15 per cent increase from Sh6.86 trillion mobile transactions that took place in 2021, underlining the growing shift from use of cash. 

During the year, a record Sh722.52 billion mobile payments were made in July due to increased spending activities in the economy driven by heightened political campaigns just weeks to the August 2022 polls.

Transfer charges

The increased use of mobile payments comes at a time the CBK has rolled back some of the incentives it had given to customers to accelerate the adoption of mobile transactions.

One of this was the scrapping of mobile money transfer charges on transactions below Sh1,000 in March 2020 to boost the use of mobile money amid concerns that the use of cash could help to spread Covid-19.

The CBK had also scrapped charges on money transfers between mobile money wallets and banks accounts to ease mobile payments but last month reinstated the charges.


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