Kenyans transacted an approximated average of Ksh14.3 billion every day in the year ended December 2020, data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has shown.
Cumulatively, mobile money transactions and transfers amounted to Ksh5.21 trillion, a 20 percent increase from the Ksh4.34 trillion transacted in 2019.
“A significant increase of mobile money usage has been noted over the period the measures (Covid-19 containment measures) have been in place, demonstrating that they were timely and effective. For instance, the monthly volume of person-to-person transactions increased by 87 percent between February and October 2020,” said CBK in December.
During the period under review, the government doubled daily transaction limits to Ksh300,000 and also removed charges on transactions below Ksh1,000.
Between March and December, mobile money agents handled cash worth Ksh4.49 trillion, more than the Ksh4.34 trillion handled in the full year of 2019.
The data shows that the cash handled by the agents maintained a steady month on month rise from Ksh357.37 billion in May to hit Ksh605.69 billion in December. This was the highest record for a month since Kenya started tracking mobile money transactions.
Despite the rise, mobile money operators recorded a dip in profits following the removal of transaction fees for amounts below Ksh1,000.
Safaricom, which controls 98.8 percent of the mobile money market, said that it lost Ksh9 billion between January and June 2020. Consequently, the telco saw its profits dip by six percent to Ksh33.07 billion.