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Kenya’s mobile money worth half national budget

Mobile money deposits made by Kenyans between 2011 and 2012 were close to KSh672 billion (US$8 billion), almost equivalent to half of the country’s national budget approximated at KShs1.459 trillion, reveal recent statistics released by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

This represents a 38.1 percent growth, from the initial KSh486.84 billion deposited in the financial year 2010/2011.

The report says that mobile money in the country continues to deepen financial inclusion, particularly for the unbanked population, facilitate the ease of doing business through mobile payments and transactions and enables seamless transfer of money.

“On an annual basis, mobile money transfer subscriptions grew by 12.13 percent from 17.3 million recorded at the end of the FY 2010/11 to 19.50 at the end of the Financial Year 2011/12,” the report said.

According to the report, for the period between April and June 2012, the mobile money transfer service subscriptions experienced 2.73 percent growth to 19.5 million during the quarter under review, from 18.98 million recorded the previous quarter.

The mobile money market also continues to offer a huge employment opportunity for a number of Kenyans who have taken up agent work.

There were close to 50,000 active mobile money transfer service agents compared to nearly 46,000 recorded in the previous quarter, and about 42,000 posted at the end of the previous year. This represents a quarterly and an annual growth of 7 percent and 16 percent respectively,the CCK reported.

This revelation confirms Kenya’s position as a mobile money leader across the world, with other countries having tried copying it but with little success.

However, this tremendous growth may be affected negatively, after it was announced that the Kenyan government is set to introduce a 10 percent excise duty on cash transactions using popular mobile money transfer systems such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa service.

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