Home » Kenyans move $1.4billion through mobile money in one year

Kenyans move $1.4billion through mobile money in one year

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Kenyans move $1.4billion through mobile money in one yearKenyan consumers used mobile money services to transfer more than Sh1 trillion in the first six months of the year, the latest industry statistics show.

The new Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) report shows the value of mobile payments grew by nearly a third to Sh1.1 trillion in the first six months of the year compared to Sh872.1 billion last year. This means that consumers moved an average of Sh186.4 billion monthly or Sh6.2 billion per day compared to the Sh4.8 billion a day they moved in a similar period last year.

Kenya has six main mobile money platforms —Safaricom’s M-Pesa, Airtel Money, yuCash, Orange Money, MobiKash and Tangaza Pesa — backed by a network of about 120,781 agents.

The increased uptake of mobile money comes at a time when mobile money providers are fighting for a piece of the lucrative retail payments market with the launch of mobile payment products.

The merchant platforms include Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-Pesa; Lipa Sasa Na MobiKash; Airtel Money and yuCash. Tangaza Pesa is currently piloting MyDuka – a new online shopping product.

Safaricom reckons that the success of M-Pesa – Kenya’s pioneer mobile money service – has inspired ordinary consumers, companies, banks as well as government agencies to embrace mobile commerce.

“I think that the early success of M-Pesa has encouraged ordinary citizens to have confidence in a concept that otherwise would have been difficult for them to comprehend or accept,” said Bob Collymore, the Safaricom chief executive. “This growth is driven primarily by an increase in active M-Pesa customers and an increase in the average number of transactions per customer.”

Kenya had a total of 25.9 million mobile money subscribers at the end of June, having risen from 23.75 million in June 2013, a growth of 9.2 per cent.

The CBK’s data shows that the value of mobile money transactions more than tripled in the past five years to reach Sh1.1 trillion compared to the Sh322.5 billion that was moved in the first six months of 2010.

Sustained growth of mobile money is further attributed to the convenience it offers users beyond the traditional money transfer to include payment of utility bills such as water, rent and electricity, and for shopping and bus fare.

Safaricom in June 2013 launched Lipa Na M-Pesa – a service that enables consumers to pay for goods and services using M-PESA – which has so far enlisted 122,000 outlets including airlines, hotels, supermarkets, public service vehicles and oil marketers.

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