Value of mobile money transactions hit record Ksh.392 billion in June alone


Value of mobile money transactions hit record Ksh.392 billion in June alone
An employee assists a customer to set-up M-Pesa money transfer servive on his handset inside a mobile phone care centre operated by Kenyan's telecom operator Safaricom; in the central business district of Kenya's capital Nairobi, file. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

In Summary

  • The high, revealed in the CBK data through the first six months of the year, is largely attributable to the recent push for cashless transactions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On March 16, the CBK alongside telco operators announced measures to support cashless payments in view of risks presented by the global health crisis.
  • The average value of mobile money transactions in the aftermath of the decision however began on a decline as the worth of transaction slacked by 5.1 percent between March 16 and April 20 to to Ksh.7.5 billion.

The value of mobile money transactions set a new Ksh.392.2 billion all-time monthly record in June translating to an average Ksh.13.1 billion worth of transactions per day.

The high, revealed in the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data through the first six months of the year, is largely attributable to the recent push for cashless transactions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The record coincides with a recovery to both the value and number of transactions following dips recorded across April and May.

The number of transactions for instance topped 143.14 million in June from a low 125 million and 135.92 million deals in April and May respectively.

On March 16, the CBK alongside telco operators announced measures to support cashless payments in view of risks presented by the global health crisis.

Among the measures passed included the waiver of fees for mobile money transactions not exceeding Ksh.1,000 along with the suspension of charges in switching funds between mobile wallets and bank accounts.

Further, the reserve bank allowed telco operators to extend the tariff of transactions from Ksh.70,000 to Ksh.150,000 while lifting the mobile wallet limit to Ksh.300,000.

The average value of mobile money transactions in the aftermath of the decision however began on a decline as the worth of transaction slacked by 5.1 per cent between March 16 and April 20 to Ksh.7.5 billion.

Transfers from mobile money wallets meanwhile rose at a record 45.7 per cent in the period with the value of transactions averaging Ksh.17.4 billion on a weekly basis.

The CBK would later extend emergency measures to December 31 from an originally planned three months.

The higher transaction values have nevertheless not changed the outlook of mobile money operators with Safaricom disclosing the waiver would cause a Ksh.19 billion hit to its annual M-Pesa revenues.

The operators told shareholders that it had already forgone revenues amounting to Ksh.6.5 billion between March 16 and June 30.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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