The amount - transacted between January and September this year - is close to Kenya’s national budget of KShs.1.45 trillion (US$17.5 billion) in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, and also a third of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of KShs.3.7 trillion (US$44.6 billion).
The huge cashless transaction value is attributed to the high number of consumers moving money using mobile phones, after banks and mobile services providers partnered to make these transactions as easy as possible.
“The combined push by banks to use mobile banking and enhanced customer service experience of money transfer services has contributed to this growth in mobile transfers,” Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore told Business Daily Africa.
For instance, Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money service has partnered with 25 of Kenya’s largest banks to provide the service, which has increased transactions and ensured that M-Pesa holds the lion’s share of Kenya’s mobile money sector with 61.21 percent.
Integrating of bank accounts with mobile money has made it more convenient for customers to transfer money into their mobile money accounts directly, as compared to previously where customers had to manually withdraw money via ATMs before depositing into their virtual mobile accounts.
It is reported the adoption of agency banking by banks in Kenya, as well as entry of other platforms like Tangaza and Mobikash, has also contributed to the increased cashless transactions.
The number of agents countrywide increased to 67,301 as at September this year, compared to 46,234 last year, indicating that mobile money is penetrating even into the remote parts of the country.
The increased transactions have made Kenya stamp its authority as the leading mobile money market in the world, with very few countries recording success close to Kenya’s.