Kenya Records Highest Jump In Mobile Money Transfers In 5 Years At 20%

The total amount of mobile money transfers recorded in 2020 grew by 20 percent as more Kenyans resorted to cashless transactions to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease, this, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is the largest increment recorded in the last 5 years.

The money transfers rose to Shs 5.2 trillion in 2020.

The economy survey, released by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani on Thursday, indicated that the value of mobile commerce transactions grew by 35.0 percent to Shs 9.4 trillion over the same period.

“This is partly attributed to preferences of cashless transactions in the wake of COVID-19 and the reduction of mobile money transfer tariffs,” the survey noted.

The availability of data on innovative products, increased internet service providers (ISPs) and digital subscriptions also bolstered the Information Communication and Technology sector whose value of output rose 2.5 percent as more Kenyans adopted digital technologies to enable remote working and minimize interactions.

The sector was among the highest contributor of the GDP in 2020 accounting for a 4.8 percent rate while its value of output rose to Shs 535.5 billion compared to a growth of 5.7 percent registered in 2019.

Over the same period, mobile subscriptions rose by 11.6 percent to 43.7 million, wireless data subscriptions increased by 44.4 percent to 103,598, while revenue from telecommunication operators increased from Shs 283.2 billion to Shs 285.1 billion in 2020.

During the period under review, the number of licensed ISPs increased by 21.2 percent to 366, registering a 9.6 percent growth to KSh 40.0 billion in 2020 from KSh 36.5 billion in 2019.

The total number of digital subscriptions rose by 7.2 percent from a  decrease of 11.5 percent recorded in 2019.

In 2020, more Kenyans embraced the delivery of TV content over Internet protocol networks which rose 18.4 percent to 16,303 subscriptions in 2020 from 13,765 in 2019

“This was also boosted by the Google loon services offered in unconnected parts of Kenya thus providing wider signal coverage. Total fixed-wired internet subscriptions rose by 35.5 percent to 579, 449 with Fibre optic growing by 49.0 percent to 400,355 subscriptions in 2020,” the survey noted.

While the value of the investment by the telecommunication operators declined by 38.2 percent to KSh 35.6 billion, the number of employees in telecommunications increased marginally from 8,639 in 2019 to 8,728 in 2020.