More Africa NewsKenya sets new mobile money record with $ 55.1 billion exchanged in 2021

January 12, 2022by myles0

In 2020, with the Covid-19 crisis and the social restrictions it has induced, the Kenyan government exempted mobile transactions of a certain value from fees. Today, although these incentives have been lifted, the payment habits acquired by the populations have remained.

Payment by Mobile Money recorded a new record in Kenya from January to November 2021. In financial terms, a total of 6,246 billion Kenyan shillings ($ 55.1 billion) were exchanged by the populations in sending, withdrawing and mobile payment. In total volume of transactions, the Central Bank counts 1.9 trillion financial transactions carried out by a total of 67.15 million active accounts.

Over the eleven months of the year 2021, the value of financial transactions by Mobile Money exceeded that recorded during the twelve months of the year 2020. That is nearly 20% growth compared to the 5,213 billion Kenyan shillings recorded in 2020. The volume of financial transactions also grew by around 19% compared to 1.6 trillion carried out in 2020 through 66.01 million active accounts.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya, October was the month with the highest volume of financial transactions as well as the highest financial value that passed through Mobile Money. That is 618.14 billion Kenyan shillings for 190.06 million operations. In 2020, December was the most prosperous month with 605.29 billion shillings exchanged by Mobile Money for 181.37 million transactions.

The increase in the volume of financial transactions through Mobile Money has continued in Kenya despite the government’s removal of Covid-19 subsidies. On March 16, 2020, a series of emergency measures had been adopted by the Central Bank of Kenya to facilitate mobile money transactions and mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the face of an imminent threat of containment.

These measures included, among other things, waiving fees for mobile money transactions up to KSh 1,000, waiving fees for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts. These exemptions were lifted on January 1, 2021.

The renewed dynamism in the Mobile Money segment delighted mobile payment service providers who deplored a drop in revenues during the exemption period. In its financial report for the year 2020 ended March 31, 2021, Safaricom reported a decline in M-Pesa revenue of 2.1% year-on-year, with a 14.5% year-on-year decline in first semester. It was not until the start of the first half of 2021 that the company noticed a return to growth following the end of the exemption.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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