Kenya's mobile money use takes downward trend

Mobile money use in Kenya appears to have reached the peak and has now taken a downward trajectory, falling three months in a row.Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) received Tuesday point to the latest trend, about 10 years after Kenyans started using the trans-formative technology.

In December 2016, according to the CBK, Kenyans transacted 3.1 billion U.S. dollars, the highest level in the history of the technology.

The amount was high due to the festive season as during the month, Kenyans send money back home using the platform, use it to buy goods and services and even gift each other.

In January, however, use of the technology declined to 2.9 billion dollars, according to the Central Bank. But the marginal fall in January has been the trend in the past years following the December peak.

What, however, points to a downward curve is the decline in February to 2.7 billion dollars, the apex bank data shows.

Analysts attributed the decline to several factors that include rising inflation and the technology having hit a climax.

According to the Central Bank, East African nation has 33 million mobile money subscriptions with monthly transactions averaging 140 million.

"With 33 million users out of about 42 million (Kenya's population), mobile money use must have come full circle since not everyone adopts technology, including in developed world. The number has stayed there in the last six months, which hints to a climax," said Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer in Nairobi.


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