Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the value of mobile money transactions peaked to Sh450.98 billion in the month of July, a 14.96 percent jump from Sh392.17 in June.
The numbers plummeted in April following the economic slow down brought about by strict protocols including curfews, lock-downs and travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The value of mobile money transactions dipped to 308 billion in April and have been on a steady rise every month since May.
Analysts have attributed the increase to the gradual resumption of economic activities around the country. The travel restrictions were lifted in the affected counties namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera. The curfew was extended to 9 pm and lock-down in Eastligh and Mandera were lifted allowing traders to return to their businesses.
Kenyan households affected by job losses, pay cuts and business closures have had to dig deeper into their savings while some have relocated out of the city entirely.
During this period, mobile money providers waived fees for transactions of less that Sh1,000 while banks waived charges for electronic transfers. Cashless transactions have been recommended as one way of curbing the spread of Covid-19 and this has encouraged more people to pay for their purchases and services using mobile money.
The CBA data in the first seven monthsof the year shows that mobile money transactions have been on a steady rise from 2018. This year’s total transactions value of Sh2.595 trillion signified a 3.7 percent growth from Sh2.502 trillion in 2019, who’s volumes depicted an 11.1 percent increase from the same period in 2018.
Mobile money transactions have evolved from person to person cash transfers to a full fledged payment solution for many businesses and services across the country.