Mobile money transfers in Kenya hit new record at Sh2.4 trillion

Kenyan currency
Since 2007, Sh8.4 trillion have been transacted by Kenyans through mobile phones. PHOTO/FILE
The value of mobile money transfers in Kenya hit a record Sh2.4 trillion in 2014, surpassing the country’s 2014/2015 budget by Sh700 billion.

Statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya show that Sh2.37 trillion charged hands through mobile phone money transfer between January and December 2014, Sh470 billion higher than a similar period in 2013.

In December last year, daily transactions hit a record high of Sh7.3 billion on increased usage and new signings by agents seeking to cash in on the lucrative mobile money transfer business in Kenya.

The growth has also been helped by increased interface between commercial banks and the cash remittance services of mobile services providers such as Safaricom and Airtel.

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Since 2007 when mobile money was introduced in Kenya, Sh8.4 trillion have been transacted through mobile phones, with the figure expected to rise exponentially following the roll-out of cashless bus fares.

“The future of mobile money is bright, with the formalisation of payments in the public transport sector and implementation of cashless government payments,” said Thomas Makau, a technology expert.

Mr Samuel Gichohi, a senior analyst at NIC Securities said: “Banking sector is increasingly shifting more to mobile and online banking to provide a convenient alternative to consumers.”

Mr Gichohi said convenience and security of using mobile money in business transactions was attracting more players in the local economy to use the available services.

Some 4,527 new agents signed up for mobile phone transfer business in October , the third highest new signing in a month since the launch of the services.

As at the end of October 2014, the number of agents stood at 128,706 compared to 124,179 in September 2014. On the other hand, mobile transactions rose to Sh210 billion in October compared to Sh206 billion recorded a month earlier.