Mobile money transfers up in third quarter; KNBS

A client conducts mobile money transfer. KNBS has said that money transfers increased in third quarter 2018. [Photo: Courtesy]

Mobile money transfers went up in the close of the third quarter of 2018 according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Despite tax on mobile money that was captured in Finance Bill 2018, money transactions through mobile reached a mark of Sh1.6 trillion more than double the previous numbers of Sh714.3 billion in 2017.

“The growth is on account of a significant expansion in telecommunication activities that include voice traffic, mobile SMS traffic, and mobile money transfer, data and internet services,” the statistician said.

But, there was slowed development of the sector by 1.6 percent to record 9.1 percent rise in 2018 in relation to 2017’s third quarter growth of 10.7 percent.

The government imposed a 20 percent excise duty on mobile money transfers by banks, agencies and financial providers with the National Treasury increasing fees for the same from 10 to 12 percent in 2018/19 fiscal year.

Mobile call traffic went up from 11.1 billion minutes in 2017 to 18.7 billion minutes in 2018, a 7.6 billion minutes’ increase in the period under review, a case that is attributed to provision of cheaper calls as well as discounts to callers.

Central Bank of Kenya data indicates that in third quarter 2018, mobile money agents increased to 203,359 from 167,775 in the same quarter 2017.

At the period the bank regulator indicates the total value of mobile money transactions increased from Sh300.92 billion in 2017 to Sh327.66 billion in 2018.