CBK Measures on COVID-19 Positively Impact Mobile Money Transactions

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A few weeks into COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Kenya announced instituted measures in the financial institutions to keep the economy afloat. This saw most financial institutions waive fees for most of their mobile money services, increase their lending base to help Kenyans access more digital loans.

This new measures saw telco giant Safaricom, slash off Mpesa transaction fees and increase limits to the amount of mobile money one would borrow. The latest report by the Central Bank of Kenya on the impact of those measures which are still operational has revealed that the average daily mobile money transactions stood at Ksh 5.8 million as of April 20 compared to Ksh5.3 million transactions prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daily average transaction volumes between Ksh.101 and Ksh.1000 rose by 1.5 million and represented a mean value of Ksh.1.9 trillion. A confirmation that the waiver of fees for up to Ksh 1,000 encouraged more mobile money transactions.

Introduction of the higher limit for mobile money set between Ksh 70000 and Ksh150,000 as part of the emergency measures, recorded an average of 5,457 daily transactions valued at Ksh.564.5 million a day. Transfers between banks and personal mobile wallets rose at 22.2 per cent on a weekly basis since the waiver on fees to stand at Ksh.2.2 million. This implies that the measure to encourage cashless transactions among Kenyans was a success.

Transfers from electronic wallets to bank accounts soared by 45.7 per cent with increasing the total amount to Ksh.17.4 billion weekly basis from Ksh.7.9 billion. According to CBK, this was an indicator that Kenyans were getting used to electronically depositing funds in bank accounts.

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