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Mobile money transactions hit Sh11.4b daily

BUSINESS NEWS
By Frankline Sunday | April 1st 2021
A mobile (M-PESA) pay bill menu. Most businesses have resorted to mobile money transaction as a way of reducing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenyans transferred more than Sh1 trillion through mobile money in the last three months of last year.

According to industry statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the value of a person to person cash transfers marked a 15 per cent increase to Sh1,031 billion compared to Sh896 billion recorded in the three months ending September 2020.

“The number of active registered mobile money subscriptions stood at 32.5 million, while the number of active mobile money agents stood at 264,390 during the review period,” said the Authority in its report.

Customer to business transfers recorded a 33 per cent increase from Sh735 billion in the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year to Sh983 billion as more consumers shunned cash payments to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The figures highlight the significant rise in digital transactions recorded by fintech and telcos in the last financial year.

Commercial lender Equity Group this week announced an 87.1 per cent increase in profit after tax on its Finserve subsidiary for the year ended December 2020 with mobile and internet banking now accounting for 98 per cent of transactions made outside the branch. 

Active mobile subscribers stood at 61.4 million recording a 2.6 per cent increase from the previous quarter, with SIM card penetration standing at 129 per cent as more subscribers register with more than one telco.

“Contrary to the preceding 2 quarters, the number of SIM additions declined during the period under review to 1.6 million from 2.8 million net additions posted in September 2020,” explained CA in its report.

Local voice traffic grew by 8.2 per cent to stand at 19.6 billion minutes in December, largely dominated by Safaricom that accounted for 69.2 per cent of the market share.

Airtel registered 5.6 billion minutes originating from its mobile network, down from 5.8 billion minutes reported in the preceding quarter, cutting the telco’s market share down to 28.5 per cent, from 32 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.

In the fixed data segment, Safaricom widened its market lead against traditional market leader Wananchi Group that has traditionally held the top spot over the past decade.

According to CA, Safaricom now has more than 243,000 subscribers translating to 35 per cent of the market, against 206,989 subscribers on Wananchi Group’s Zuku service that holds 30 per cent.

Jamii Telecom that launched its service two years ago has since grown subscriber numbers to 131,793, giving it 19 per cent of the fixed data market, surpassing old players including Liquid Telecom, Dimensions Data and Telkom Kenya among others.

The total number of fixed data connections stood at 684,317 as of December last year, with the vast majority of them connected to speeds higher than 2Mbps.

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