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Mobile Money Transactions Decrease Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Mobile money transactions have fallen in the last two months as more households have been forced to tighten their budgets due to the financial crisis occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the total value of mobile money transactions fell from Ksh364 billion in March to Ksh307 billion in April. The total number of transaction in April were 124.9 million, down from 150 million in March. The statistics represent the lowest mobile money transactions in the two years.

This happened despite telecom companies giving offerings on mobile money transactions and well streamlined services in a bid to discourage cash transactions during the Corona Virus pandemic.

Last month, leading mobile service provider Safaricom waived transaction costs for sending amounts of Sh1,000 and less and also raised the amount in daily transaction limits to allow people to use M-Pesa more.

Read: At Least 1 Billion People Have Mobile Money Accounts Globally – Report

Commercial banks have also encouraged their customers to go cashless and use electronic money transfers to make payments.

However, the imposed travel restrictions and curfews have had a negative effect on the economy, and many Kenyans in the formal sector have been laid off or sent on unpaid leave while those in the informal sector have had to close their businesses.

This has directly impacted many households, especially those in rural areas who rely on remittance from working relatives.

Data acquired from the financial regulator, Central Bank, showed that remittances from the Diaspora dropped from 259 billion in January this year to 208 billion in April.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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