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Mobile cash transactions hit Sh1.1trn in quarter one

M-Pesa
A customer at an M-Pesa shop in Nyeri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The volume of money moved through mobile phones in the first three months of the year rose 10.7 per cent to Sh1.1 trillion, underlining the growing importance of digital wallets in the economy.

This is the first time the value of first quarter transactions has crossed Sh1 trillion mark, having grown consistently from Sh650 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

Newly published data by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows the transactions in March rose by 12.3 per cent to Sh368.39 billion, an all-time high in a single month.

The number of transactions grew by 16.89 million to 161.38 million, piling total transactions during the month to 460.1 million.

In April last year, mobile phone financial services interoperability set in, allowing customers to transfer funds across networks such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money in real time and at a reduced cost.

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The CBK expected the benefits of the interoperability in enhancing the usage of mobile money services to be “immediate and significant”.

At the end of March, the number of agents facilitating mobile money transactions hit 226,957 from 205,745 at the close of last year. The number of accounts has hit 50.36 million, a growth 2.67 million new accounts in three months.

The number of active registered mobile money transfer subscriptions was at 31.63 million at the end of December last year, according to the second quarter report by the Communications Authority of Kenya.

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