The amount of money Kenyans transferred via mobile phone jumped by Sh296.97 billion in a year from Sh674 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2020 to Sh970.97 billion in Q1 of 2021, data from the Communications Authority of Kenya reveals.
A majority of these transactions happened on the Mpesa, which accounted for 98.8 percent of the total market share, while Airtel Money and T-Kash recorded market shares of 1.1 and 0.05 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, the volume of money transferred from one business to another rose by Sh891.9 billion from Sh878.1 billion transacted in Q1 of 2020 to Sh1.77 trillion in Q1 of 2021.
The jump in volume of mobile money transactions can be attributed to Kenyans embracing the new normal, where remote working and e-commerce, among other virtual transactions, have been given preference over brick and mortar transactions.
"The country's telecommunications sector grew relatively strong during the pandemic period supported by the growth in the digital economy, mobile telephony and data/internet penetration.
The sector continues to play a critical role in Kenya's response to the pandemic, especially mobile money, which is a critical enabler of financial inclusion," noted the CAK report in part.
Indeed, the number of registered mobile money subscriptions increased by 4 million from 29.1 million in Q1 of 2020 to 33.1 million in Q1 of 2021. Mobile money service providers quickly moved to capitalise on this new development, as was evidenced by the increase in number of active mobile money agents from 202,102 to 275,907.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION / By Albert Mwazighe