Kenya's mobile transactions total 4.4 bln USD in August amid COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-02 22:28:08|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Mobile payment by Kenyans reached a record 474 billion shillings (4.4 billion U.S. dollars) in August, up from 4.1 billion dollars in July and 3.4 billion dollars in June, according to the latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data released Friday.

Citizens are using the technology to pay bus fares, shop at supermarkets, pay utility bills and generally transfer money, fuelled by COVID-19 restrictions and government incentives to spur cashless transaction.

Since Kenya reported its first confirmed COVID-19 cases in March, the central bank has waived charges on sending up to 9.3 dollars, raised the daily transaction ceiling to the equivalent of 2,777 dollars, up from 925 dollars, and doubled the amount of cash one can hold in their electronic wallet to 2,777 dollars.

These measures have encouraged Kenyans to adopt mobile payments and boosted business-to-business transactions.

As of August, the mobile payment service sector is employing 252,703 agents, up from 240,261 in March, an indication of wider adaptation of cashless transactions.

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said recently that the measures instituted were timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need.

Bernard Mwaso, of Edell IT Solution, a software development start-up, said the impact of the disease on the technology "has been greatly positive."

"This can be seen in the increased usage. The CBK measures helped to bring onboard both low and high-volume users," he said.

Waiving fees on transactions of less than 9.3 dollars has encouraged low-band transactions, and the raising of mobile wallet limit brought on board many high-volume movers, Mwaso said. Enditem