Latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) reveals an increase in mobile payments due to waived fees.
Kenyans transacted Sh473.5 billion in August 2020, signifying a third increase as compared to the same time last year which was valued at Sh364 billion.
In March, after the disgnosis of the first Kenyan with Covid-19 virus, CBK announced measures to facilitate increase use of mobile money transactions instead of cash in what was aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Among some of the measures announced by the financial regulator, following consultation with stakeholders, was waiving of fees for transactions of amounts upto Sh1,000. Fees on transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts were also removed.
Pesalink also announced a 100 per cent waiver of fees for bank transfers.
These measures were extended to the end of the year despite protests from Safaricom and banks. Standard Chartered Bank said that it loses about Sh5 million from waived fee monthly.
CBK noted that there has been a significant increase in the use of mobile money channels by individuals in both value and number of transactions.
“Most of the increase was in low-value transactions of Sh1,000 or less — this band accounts for over 80 per cent of mobile money transactions and charges were eliminated, which has helped cushion the most vulnerable households,” said CBK in a statement.
The industry regulator also noted that the waiver of fees on mobile payments attracted over 1.6 million additional customers.
By August, there were over 62.8 million registered mobile money accounts, which means that an additional four million accounts have been added since March when the total mobile money accounts were 58.7 million.
In April, a month after the country registered its first case of Covid-19 and the government started implementing stringent containment measures, the value of mobile payments dipped to Sh307.9 billion in April from Sh364.5 billion in March.
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