The value of mobile money payments rose by 11.1 percent to hit Sh2.5 trillion in the first seven months of this year, new data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.
The increase happened even though the actual figures from month- to- month fluctuated between Sh328.2 billion and Sh368.4 billion. The total value for the seven months was Sh2.5 trillion compared to Sh2.25 trillion in July last year.
In July, the value stood at Sh366.4 billion, about Sh20 billion up from June’s Sh346.8 billion. Compared to July last year, the upward change was higher at Sh34 billion or 10.2 percent.
The change underlines the rising popularity of the mobile money in transactions where many banks, mobile lenders, savings and credit societies and merchants have also been linking up with the mobile banking services to improve their product offer.
A major driver of the increase in the value of transactions are commercial banks that have taken mobile banking in a big way.
“You will hardly see any tier-one bank that does not have a mobile banking application. That is the reason that banks have had such an impact on mobile banking and the figure of transacted values are rising,” said Martin Kirimi, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank.
Mr Kirimi said the other major driver of rising values is the mobile commerce with links with merchants rising as they recognise the need to pay without necessarily having to carry cash. But CBK data was not segregated according to the operators for the period. The Communications Authority data which normally gives data by operator is yet to be updated from the March 2019 figures.
The increase in value has also come against a rise in registration of more users of mobile money services with the number of subscribers standing at 53.9 million as at July, up from 42.6 million in the same month last year.
Even telecom firms have driven the merchant links forward, with Safaricom lately starting a new offer for payments to merchants though Fuliza, where a customer can received some credit and pay for goods using Mpesa even when the cash available in the app is inadequate.
“There is hardly any place these days you will go without finding a mobile money payment service,” said Mr Kirimi.