Kenya’s Oct-Dec mobile money transfers top Sh1tr


Kenyans moved Sh1.2 trillion via mobile money transfer between October and December 2016.

The data contained in the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) second quarter sector report, underscores the preference of most Kenyans to use mobile money transfer services to carry out a bulk of their transactions.

According to the report, Sh586.4 billion was used to pay for goods and services while Sh515.9 billion was transferred from one user to another.

Safaricom continues to dominate the mobile money space with its M-Pesa service accounting for Sh892.8 billion of the Sh1 trillion moved in the three-month period.

M-Pesa was introduced in 2007 and has enjoyed relative success with 21.5 million subscribers.

But the telecom is getting stiff completion following the entry of Equity Bank into the mobile money space.

Equity Bank, with its Equitel Money service is the second largest money transfer service in the country, accounting for Sh251.6 billion of the money transacted via mobile phones.

Since its launch in 2015, Equitel has moved past Airtel money and Orange Money that moved Sh6.5 billion and Sh80 million during the period under review.

Equitel has increasingly moved into the retail side of the mobile money service, offering merchant services to businesses.

Safaricom however continues to edge out Equity Bank in this field, controlling Sh408.6 billion of the mobile commerce market while Equitel is at Sh171 billion.

“During the quarter under review, the number of mobile money subscriptions was recorded at 31.9 million subscriptions while the number of active mobile money transfer agents stood at 161,583,” the authority said in its quarterly report.

The mobile money transfer has emerged as a new battleground even as banks launched their own platform dubbed PesaLink to foray into the space.

Banks are targeting transactions of up to a million shillings as mobile money transfers are capped at Sh140,000 per day.

During the launch of the M-Akiba bond two weeks ago, both the treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya indicated the cap could be raised to increase the value of transactions.

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