Measures to ease access to mobile money in Kenya are about to come to an end, but they appear to have been a success.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), one of the prime movers behind emergency measures to facilitate mobile money transactions out in place in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has announced that the country saw an additional 2.8 million mobile money customers in the period between February and October this year.
As regular readers will know, the emergency measures allowed people to use mobile money for transactions below Sh1,000 (just under $9) without attracting transaction charges.
CBK reported that, over the period covered, the monthly volume of person-to-person transactions increased by 87 per cent, while that of transactions below Sh1,000 increased by 114 per cent. Business-related transactions also recorded significant growth over the period.
A new pricing structure will be put in place from 1 January. It means that sending amounts up to Sh100 from person to person and transferring money between mobile money wallets and bank accounts will attract no charges.
The success of the scheme wasn’t celebrated by everyone. As we reported in November, leading operator Safaricom and Kenya’s banks have apparently lost billions of shillings on the free service and will no doubt be grateful that the level of transaction attracting no charges has been reduced.