The value of funds transacted through mobile phones in Kenya stood at Sh2.4 trillion in 2014 following increased uptake by consumers and aggressive marketing by service providers.
That is more money than is currently held as deposits by all the country's banks, mortgage firms and micro-financiers combined.
According to the latest data released by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), transactions carried out through mobile phones rose by 24.7 per cent to Sh2.37 trillion in 2014 compared to Sh1.9 trillion that was transacted through the same channel in 2013.
Monthly transactions rose to its highest level in December last year to Sh225.5 billion translating into a daily rate of Sh7.3 billion.
Analysts in the sector have attributed the growth to increased uptake of the service by merchants and individuals due to its convenience, cost-effectiveness and security as opposed to use of cash or other means to in making payments or transferring money.
Increased competition in the market as well as aggressive marketing of the service has seen it grow to historical levels, surpassing Kenya’s annual budget.
Mobile money transactions is expected to rise following the roll out of cashless payments in the public transport sector and public.
Mobile money was introduced in Kenya in early 2007. A total of Sh8.4 trillion has since been transacted through the service. The service also boasts of 123,703 mobile money transfer agents.
Currently, Safaricom commands the largest share in the mobile money market.
Other players are Orange, Airtel, MobiKash, Tangaza Pesa and Equity Bank.