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Mobile Commerce and Data Uptake on the Rise in Kenya


Payment of goods and service through the mobile money transfer platforms hit Ksh692 Billion in the three months to June, the latest sector statistics report (PDF) by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) indicates.

The value of KSh.692 billion is quite significant compared to Ksh102 billion in December 2015, when the industry regulator first captured these statistics in its quarterly reports. The number of mobile commerce transactions stood at 316.5 million.

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Person to person transfers were valued at Ksh. 541.8 billion.

The report covering April/June 2017, indicates that the number of mobile money subscriptions stood at 28.0 million while the number of agents was registered at 180,657.

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During the quarter under review a total of 480.5 million transactions (withdrawals and deposits) valued at KSh. 1.2 trillion were made.

“The positive growth witnessed in the mobile money transfer service was largely driven by the widespread use of mobile money solutions and adoption of the service among traditionally underserved groups (rural populations), and increasingly broad range of mobile money services (including insurance and loan products) in Kenya,” reads part of the report.

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Mobile money has become an integral part of commerce in Kenya over the past decade. It has evolved to become a loan disbursement tool, adding to other uses such as peer transfers, betting, as paying for shopping, utility bills (water, rent and electricity), school fees, and receiving dividends.

The Internet/ data market segment experienced positive growth during the financial year 2016/17 with total number of Internet subscriptions hit 29.6 million, translating to an increase of 15.2 per cent from 25.7 million in the previous quarter.

“The growth was driven by 15.3 per cent increase of in mobile data subscriptions to 29.4 million at the end of the quarter, which accounted for approximately 99 per cent of the total subscriptions,” the report noted.

The Authority in the report also said the increase of mobile data subscriptions could be attributed to continued fall in the costs of smartphones coupled with the widespread availability of the handsets.

The number of data subscriptions grew by 9.9 per cent in this period when compared to the same period of the previous year.

The total number of terrestrial wireless data subscriptions recorded an increase of 30.5 per cent to post 47,231 subscriptions at the end of the quarter under review up from 36,104 subscriptions registered in the previous quarter.

When compared to the same period of the previous financial year, there was a two fold increase which the quarterly report attributed to the licensing of new players in the market during the financial year.

Fixed Digital Subscriber Line(DSL) data/Internet subscriptions rose to 2,715 during the period under review from 2,452 subscriptions reported in the third quarter marking an increase of 10.7 per cent. However when compared to the same period of the previous year there was a decline of 11.4 per cent over the year.

Fibre optic data subscriptions stood at 54,700 subscriptions up from 48,040 subscriptions registered during the previous period while broadband subscriptions were recorded at 15.4 million up from 13.7 million posted in the preceding quarter representing a growth of 12.6 per cent.

The broadband penetration thus stood at 34.2 per cent as at the end of quarter under review up from last quarter’s 30.4 per cent

Susan Mwenesi
Susan Mwenesi
Interested in business, technology and all things startups in Africa!

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