Kenya to set world record $27bn mobile money transfers in 2015

Residents perform at a mobile phone transaction at a stall within the trading centre in Nyang'oma Kogelo, west of Kenya's capital Nairobi © Thomas Mukoya
Kenya’s mobile money transactions hit $23 billion in the 10-months to October which is $4 billion more than in the same period last year, according to data from the country’s Central Bank.

The East African country leads the world in mobile money use, and could make a new record this year. Kenya’s 10-month transactions equal the country’s entire transfers for 2014.

The use of the service this year could surpass the $27 billion mark, an unnamed information technology expert told the Xinhua news agency.

"If subscribers transact an average of $2.2 billion a month, then it means in November and December they will move at least $4.4 billion. If you add it to $23 billion it comes to $27.4 billion, which is a new record," said the expert.

Kenya’s average monthly transactions stood at $2.2 billion this year compared with $1.9 billion in 2014.

October saw the most transferred when $2.51 billion was sent via mobile phones. It’s the highest ever transaction made in the history of mobile money services.

Kenyans use mobile financial services to buy goods, pay bills, pay fares, send and receive money. It’s the easiest way to make payments as most of the people don’t have bank accounts.

Analysts relate the rise in mobile money use to an increase in mobile providers and promotion of the services.

According to the data from Central Bank of Kenya, the number of mobile money subscribers as of October reached 28.5 million, up from 27.3 million in September. The number of service agents stood 140,612 in October.