Kenya’s Q1 mobile money transactions up 11 percent

Kenya’s mobile money transactions surged 11 percent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to a similar period last year, boosted by innovation in the industry.

Kenyans did about 1.06 trillion shillings (10.6 billion U.S. dollars) worth of mobile money transactions between January to March. The total is 9.6 billion dollars more than during the same period in 2018, new data from the Central Bank of Kenya released on Monday shows.

The bulk of the transactions this year were done in January and March, where Kenyans moved 3.6 billion dollars in each of the months. In February, transactions stood at 3.3 billion dollars, according to the apex bank.

The period was characterized by innovativeness in the industry which continued to drive mobile money usage.

Kenya’s telecom operator Safaricom, which accounts for over 70 percent of the market, during the period unveiled a new mobile credit product dubbed Fuliza.

The service allows its customers to borrow cash to complete their mobile money transactions in case they have sufficient funds. Safaricom on May 3 announced that it lend out 450 million dollars in three months.

Employment in the sector continued to surge, with the number of agents working for the three telecoms in the country as at end of March standing at 226,957, according to the apex bank.

Similarly, the number of subscribers stood at 50.4 million, up from 39 million in March 2018.