P2P mobile money transfers hit Kshs 684.5 billion from October to December 2019

The value of person-to-person transfers over mobile money platforms hit Kshs 684.5 billion in three months to December, latest statistics from Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) indicate.

The massive transaction count not only makes mobile transactions a key cog in the economic wheel, but also stamps the fact that Kenyans can use digital finance as a lever to influence social distancing and person-to-person (P2P) transactions in an infectious health crisis, such as during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Unlike formative years when mobile money platforms were largely used for P2P cash transfers, the platforms are now increasingly being used to purchase of goods, process instant short-term loans as well as to make payments for government services.

During the period under review, consumer-to-business (C2B) transfers were valued at Kshs 294 billion, business-to-consumer transfers stood at Kshs 377.4 billion, while the value of transfer from business-to-business stood at Kshs 859.6 billion. The value of consumer to government (C2G) payments were Kshs 9.7 billion.

The latest data comes on the backdrop of the government and mobile network operators’ announcement that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under Kshs 1,000 will not attract sending fee for the next 90 days. This is in a bid to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, that has so far seen 50 persons in the country test positive and claimed one life.

During the period, the number of active registered mobile money subscriptions stood at 28.9 million, while the number of active mobile money agents stood at 205,328. Safaricom’s M-Pesa recorded the highest market share of 98.8 per cent, whereas T-Kash recorded the lowest market share of 0.07 per cent

According to the report covering the period between October to December 2029, as at December 31, 2019, the number of active mobile subscriptions (SIM cards) in the country stood at 54.5 million translating to mobile (SIM) penetration of 114.8 per cent.

“Mobile (SIM) penetration in the country remains high partly due to multiple SIM ownership by consumers. This indicator is different from that on mobile phone use penetration that is determined through national surveys,” reads part of the report.

The market shares in mobile subscriptions for Safaricom declined by 0.1 percentage points to stand at 64.8 percent. Airtel Kenya gained by 1.3 percentage points to post a market share of 25.9 per cent whereas both Telkom Kenya and Equitel lost by 0.5 percentage points to record market shares of 6.2 and 3.1 percent respectively.

The CA developed and published the definitions and methodologies of collecting and reporting telecom/ ICT indicators, as well as revision of the data collection template during the quarter under review, which resulted saw Airtel revise its reporting on outgoing mobile voice traffic. This also saw the three operators, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya review their data collection templates.

The total local outgoing mobile voice traffic declined by 16.2 per cent during the period under review to post 14.9 billion minutes from 17.8 billion minutes posted during the previous period.

“This decline is attributed to the drop in on-net voice traffic from 16.1 billion recorded last quarter to 13.2 billion during the quarter under review. The huge decline in on-net traffic was occasioned by revision made by Airtel Kenya, which resulted in a reduction on its on-net voice numbers by almost half, that of the last quarter,” reads part of the report.

Prior to the development and publishing of the new guide, on the definitions and methodologies of collecting and reporting telecoms/ ICT indicators, by the CA, Airtel Kenya had been summing incoming and outgoing on-net traffic in previous quarters instead of providing outgoing traffic only considering that ideally only outgoing traffic is billed.

With the new guide, Airtel Kenya, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya revised their data especially stats on mobile data subscriptions which account for 99 per cent of data (internet) subscriptions. In this respect, the total data (internet) subscriptions declined to stand at 39.6 million, of which 22.0 million subscriptions were on broadband.

During the quarter, the National KE-CIRT/CC detected 37.1 million cyber threats as compared to 25.2 million cyber threat events detected in the period covering July – September 2019. This was a 47.3 percent increase as compared to the previous quarter which is attributed to an exponentially high number of malware threats detected.


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