by Bedah Mengo
The East African nation’s residents transacted 17.4 billion dollars through their mobile phones in the period ending August, up from 14.7 billion dollars during a similar period in 2014, new data from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showed on Wednesday.
The CBK data showed that growth in the sector has been sustained since the beginning of the year, with Kenya’s monthly mobile money transactions hitting 2.4 billion dollars in August, the highest in the country’s history.
This was a rise from 2.27 billion dollars in July and 2.18 billion dollars in June.
Last year, Kenyans transacted 26.1 billion dollars on mobile money platform, an increase of about 4 billion dollars from previous year.
Kenyans use the service to send and receive cash, pay bills, borrow money, pay loans, rent and fare and withdraw and deposit money from their bank accounts.
While the bulk mainly receive and send money through the service, a good number are using it to pay utility bills and take loans as banks increasingly partner with telecoms.
Seven mobile money service providers operate in the East African nation including Mpesa, Orange Money and Airtel Money.
There are over 27 million mobile money subscribers in the East African nation, according to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), with the number rising in each quarter.
The sector too continues to offer thousands of people employment, with the number of agents providing the services growing to 136,042 in August from 133,989 in July.
Analysts expect Kenya’s mobile money use to continue in the coming months and even years as more Kenyans acquire mobile phones.
“Don’t expect mobile money use to go down anytime soon. Many utility firms and banks are embracing it. People are now receiving salaries using the services and more are paying for goods and services using their money.
The future of mobile money is still brighter in Kenya,” said Ernest Manuyo, a business management lecturer in Nairobi.
Kenya currently has over 35.1 million mobile phone subscribers, according to CA, an indication that close to 8 million Kenyans do not have the gadgets, which gives room for growth of mobile money. Enditem