The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has released the figures of mobile money transactions in 2020 which show significant increase in mobile money usage for the year.
In the context of Covid-19, there was increased use of mobile money transactions instead of cash faciliated by the emergency measures put in place by the CBK.
Below are the stats as per the regulator:
- Monthly volume of P2P transactions increased by 87%
- Transactions below KES 1, 000 (Approx. $9) increased by 114%
- Additional 2.8 million people were added into the mobile money ecosystem
Following the success of these measures and significant growth in business-related transactions via mobile money, the CBK has introduced ne principles to guide pricing in 2021 and beyond for payment service providers.
Some of these guidelines that will see the mobile money landscape change in Kenya from 2021 are:
- No charges for P2P transafers of up to KES 100 (Approx. $1) to any customer and network
- No charges for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts
- Only regulated SACCOs are allowed to levy a charge for money transfers in order to facilitate their integration with the mobile money system
According to the CBK, the goal and aim of these new guidelines is to increase access, usage, and equity of digital payment servies and promote its competitiveness and sustainable growth in Kenya.
Following unfair competition among mobile money services and mobile money credit challenges that have seen the CBK clamp down on the industry in the last 2 years, he new guiding rules are based on these key 5 principles:
- Customer Centricity – The primacy of the customer interest must be evident in how services are developed, priced, and marketed
- Transparency and Disclosure – A clear description of charges and fees that a customer incurs at the point of sale or duting the use of the serice should be clearly disclosed
- Fairness and Equity – Provision and pricing of mobile money services in a manner that is proportional to th eservice provided and benefit obtained
- Choice and Competition – Customers should be presented with cost-effective options that enable frictioness comparision, choice, and switching without undue delays
- Affordability – Provision and pricing of services in a manner that is proportional to low-value and other ‘public good’ related payments
Recently, Safaricom, East Africa’s largest mobile money services provider (M-PESA), reported a significant increase in the number of Kenyan businesses using M-PESA to process customer transactions.
Ethiopia, the most populous country in East Africa, has also launched mobile money services opening up a huge market for M-PESA and other related mobile money services.
Tanzania, another East African country, has also similarly vowed to increase the use of mobile money services in the coming years in order to remain competitive.
The new rules and guidelines will no doubt continue to see increased growth and usage of mobile money services in Kenya in 2021 and beyond.
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