The uptake of mobile money in Kenya is steadily growing with subscriptions increasing by 10.1 per cent from the previous quarter to reach 23.2million according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) quarterly Sector Statistics Report for January to March 2013.
Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the mobile money subscription increased by 22.6 per cent.
According to CCK, “This growth is attributed to the convenience as well as the value-added services of facilitating payments for goods and services.”
Also up were the number of mobile money transfer agents, the agents rose to 74,216 up from 62,300 reported in the previous quarter creating at least 11,916 additional direct jobs in mobile money transfer service during the third quarter.
Mobile money agents also grew to 74,216, a 19.1 per cent increase from 62,300 recorded during the previous quarter to during the period under review.
Mobile money is becoming popular due to its ease and convenience in use. Mobile money is also taking centre stage in facilitating electronic payments across the country with services such as Lipa na M-pesa.
According to CCK, “The mobile money transfer service has continued to provide ease of access and convenience in making payments owing to its popularity as witnessed in the growth in subscriptions and the number of agents.’
The regulator added that the number of mobile money transfer subscriptions represented 78 per cent for the total mobile subscriptions indicating unmet demand to expand the service.
However, between January and March this year the number of mobile subscribers in the country fell from 30.7 million to 29.8 million mainly attributed to the de-activation of 2.4million unregistered SIM cards during the quarter.
This decline further resulted in a decline in mobile penetration from 78% in the previous quarter to 75.8% in the period under review. The total mobile traffic also declined by 1.2 per cent to stand at 7.2billion minutes down from 7.3billion recorded in the previous quarter.
Internet data use however is steadily increasing as over 9.6million subscriptions were recorded by end of March 2013 and 99 percent of them mobile.
Kenya’s broadband subscriptions reached 1.17million, up by 17.5%.