NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyans moved a record 33 billion U.S. dollars on
mobile money in 2016, up from 27.8 billion dollars from the
previous year, the latest data from Central Bank of Kenya showed
The surge in
transactions by about 6 billion dollars consolidates the
country’s global position in use of the technology that has
revolutionized its financial sector.
The volume of cash
transacted on the platform surpasses Kenya’s 2017/2018 budget,
which is estimated at 25 billion dollars, underlying the role of
the service to citizens and economy.
In 2016, mobile
money use peaked at 3.1 billion dollars per month in December,
according to the regulator’s data, up from 2.6 billion dollars
Christmas and New
Year festivities normally give mobile money use a boost as
Kenyans send and receive various amounts of cash from their
On the opposite, the
least transactions during the period were carried out in
January, with Kenyans moving 2.4 billion dollars.
Kenyans on average
transacted during the period 2.7 billion dollars a month up from
2.3 billion dollars in the previous year.
biggest economy citizens use mobile platforms to perform a range
of financial services that include making money deposits,
remittance delivery, payment of bills, withdrawal of cash and
access of microfinance credit.
money has become a necessity in the lives of Kenyans. Many
citizens are unable to operate without it.
In the period of
review, according to the Central Bank, the number of mobile
money subscribers hit 35 million from 31.6 million in 2015,
which means only less than 10 percent of the country’s people
has not subscribed to mobile money.
The number of agents
during the period clocked 165,908 from 143,946 at the end of
2015 as the sector continued to be a key employer.
similarly swelled considerably, with East African nation
citizens making over 146 million transactions a month from 107
million in 2015.
Kenya has six mobile
money service providers namely Safaricom, Airtel, Orange,
Equitel, Tangaza and Mobikash.
Safaricom’s Mpesa is
the most popular, carrying out over 90 percent of the
transactions. The company last week partnered with its peers in
Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to enhance use of Mpesa in East
Africa, an indication of expected growth.
The apex bank’s
figures paint a healthy picture of growth of mobile money but
Treasury has warned that collapse of service poses fiscal risks
to the economy since various financial products have been
leveraged on the payment channel increasing linkage between the
technology and the banking sector.
“If this system was
to be compromised, the impact would be substantial considering
the linkages and the corporate tax revenue for government. The
financial and other institutions linked to this system would be
susceptible,” notes Treasury in its budget policy statement for
this financial year.
mobile money use to sustain growth in the coming years as
companies continue to innovate, people go for paperless
transactions and unsubscribed embrace the service.