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Surge in Kenya’s mobile money impacts banks

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It is reported that nearly 20.5 million people use M-Pesa

It is reported that banks in Kenya have taken a hit  from the recent increase in mobile money. Although the Kenyan banks’ net earnings for 2020 has dropped following a loss of nearly $11.5 million in revenues from card payments to mobile payment platforms in the last nine months. 

The figures are according to the Central Bank of Kenya. It appears that several customers are no longer using  debit cards, credit cards and prepaid charge cards since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Now, the Central Bank of Kenya is promoting cashless payments and is urging digital payments providers to collaborate and encourage innovation. According to the Kenya National Payments System 2021-2025 report, “Though the industry moved to enable interoperability of mobile wallets in 2018, this is limited to only P2P payments, and is yet to be expanded to both merchant and agent interoperability and even to work seamlessly at P2P.”

In the last five years, the country has seen digital payment acceptance grow exponentially. In this context, the report identified that Kenya’s payments landscape has witnessed dramatic changes in the last decade. “There are still areas with considerable opportunities and improvement such as growth of the electronic payment instruments,” the report said. 

The country’s biggest telecom provider Safaricom waived fees from March to June for M-Pesa, which is the largest digital money service. It will promote the use of mobile payments and prevent the spread of the infection, in line with the protocols. It is reported that nearly 20.5 million people use M-Pesa.

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