Market News

Mobile money deals hit Sh2.87trn


Kenyans moved Sh2.87 trillion in the first eight months of the year. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenyans moved Sh2.87 trillion in the first eight months of the year, representing a 10.3 percent rise over 2018 transactions worth Sh2.6 trillion in a similar period.

The just released Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data indicates increased provision for services payable via mobile money informed the rise. Kenyans settle payments for services received and goods bought locally as well as abroad via mobile money.

Payment of school fees, retail purchases, utilities, online books as well as increased adoption of mobile money payment services for public transactions has informed higher movement of money via mobile phone payment platforms.

The platforms have also been embraced by lender-only companies operating via mobile Apps that have seen Kenyans access loans without the need to visit a bank branch.

Several global money transfer platforms such as Western Union, WorldRemit as well as Google’s Android, Opera and Apple Playstore have fueled use of mobile money due to its enhanced reach across the country.

Integration of mobile money platforms across East Africa has also informed growth with traders preferring to travel light’ and settle transactions via mobile money platforms.

The 10.3 per cent growth is higher than 2017 growth of 8.1 percent indicating resurgence in acceptance of cashless transactions largely driven by availability of mobile money agents in nearly all parts of the country.

As at December 2018, Safaricom’s nationwide network had expanded its M-Pesa payment services based on a business-partner model with 168,620 agents.

Acceptance of more services payable via the paybill has seen businesses receive money via money transfers with common interest groups raising money via similar platforms.

Salespeople of major brands now prefer to receive payments via paybill that is deemed to be much safer than the traditional cash payment model that resulted in salespeople carrying around large amounts of cash.

Businesses have also enjoyed integration of their bank accounts to mobile phone money platforms where payments made via paybill numbers are automatically transferred to their individual bank accounts real-time.

Some business owners have also been placing standing orders for paying wages which are automatically sent to their employees via mobile money.