Kenya leads Africa in use of mobile banking services

Mobile banking
Over 80 million transactions were done through mobile phones in February. PHOTO/FILE
Kenya leads other African countries in the use of mobile banking services thanks to the faster uptake of mobile technology in the local banking sector.

A survey by Moody’s Investors Service on credit trends in sub-Saharan Africa says the country’s mobile banking system has deepened financial penetration among the unbanked population.

“While just two per cent of adults world-wide have mobile money accounts, in sub-Saharan Africa, this percentage is 12 per cent.

“Kenya was in the forefront of the revolution with the introduction of M-Pesa, a mobile money platform pioneered by Safaricom, a local telco part-owned by Vodafone,” the report says.

The region is said to have improved financial inclusion by 10 per cent fuelled by an extensive use of mobile technology.

READ: Mobile money transfers in Kenya hit Sh2.4 trillion

About 34 per cent of adults in the country now have a bank account with a formal financial institution, up from 24 per cent in 2011 according to the survey.

The latest Central Bank of Kenya payment statistics show that over 80 million transactions were done through mobile phones in February this year with about Sh208 billion exchanging hands.

In 2014, the volumes averaged at Sh197 billion per month. The year also saw over Sh2.37 trillion transacted over mobile phones.

Further innovation such as the uptake of remote merchant payments and real-time deposits are expected to help spur on further take-up of mobile banking services.