The value of mobile money transactions for the first five months of 2019 hit Sh1.788 trillion, averaging Sh357 billion per month, according to numbers released by the Central Bank of Kenya.
This is compared to the Sh1.6 trillion transacted in the same period in 2018 while the month of March had the highest number of movements closing at 161 million mobile money transactions.
By the end of May, there were 52.19 million mobile money accounts compared to 40.2 million accounts in January.
Safaricom’s M-Pesa, which controls 81 percent of the mobile money market, had 30 million M-Pesa accounts by close of March 2019.
The overall growth of transactions has been propelled by more businesses opening options for customers to pay via mobile money such as M-Pesa’s Lipa na M-Pesa whose merchants grew by 22,000 in 2018/2019, a 21.6 percent growth.
The report released by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in December 2018 covering July-September 2018 showed that 730.2 million transactions valued at Sh2.027 trillion were recorded during the period up from 611.3 million transactions valued at Sh1.9 billion the previous quarter.
Mobile commerce transactions went up by 8.8 percent to reach 526.9 million valued at Sh1.55 trillion while person-to-person transfers were valued at Sh718.2 billion.
Additionally, there was a 5.6 per cent increase in active mobile money transfer agents to stand at 218, 495 up from 206, 940 while actively registered mobile money transfer subscriptions stood at 29.7 million.
The report also shows that mobile penetration rose by 2.3 percentage points to hit 100.1 per cent from 97.8 per cent in the previous quarter.
“This increase has mainly been attributed to the fact that most users own more than one SIM card either from the same or different service providers,” noted CA.
However, a report published by The Business Daily ranks Kenya third in Africa with a 72 percent mobile penetration behind Ghana and Rwanda.