Market News

April mobile cash deals hit 2-year low


An attendant at an M-Pesa outlet in Nyeri. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

Cash transacted through mobile phones and tablets in April fell to the lowest level in more than two years on the back of reduced earnings by businesses and workers.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) statistics show mobile payments fell by Sh56.52 billion to Sh307.99 billion in the first full month after Kenya enforced partial trade lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus.

This was the lowest value since February 2018 when the transactions amounted to Sh300.92 billion, largely reflecting the impact of dusk-to-dawn curfew despite the waiver on fees mobile money transfers below Sh1,000. The lockdown has significantly cut operating hours for small traders.

The April value was Sh54.30 billion, or 15 per cent, less than the Sh362.30 billion average mobile money deals in the first three months of the year.

The CBK data further shows the number of mobile money transactions fell to 124.99 million in April from 150.69 million in March — the lowest volume since August 2017 polls.