Quarterly mobile payments have for the first time crossed the Sh1 trillion mark reflecting recovery in economic activity amid increasing adoption of e-commerce channels.
Deals worth nearly Sh1.009 trillion were settled via mobile phones in the three months through September, Sh112.78 billion more than similar period in 2017 when investments were hurt by a bruising presidential contest.
Latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data show on average a record Sh10.97 billion was transacted daily via mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa in the July-September 2018 period compared with Sh9.74 billion a year earlier.
Key sectors of the economy such as financial services, retail and wholesale trade, agriculture and health are increasingly integrating the convenient mobile payments channels into their operations.Cumulative mobile cash transfer deals in nine months ended September hit Sh2.93 trillion, a growth of Sh221.64 billion or 8.18 per cent over the period in 2017.
"The amount of money transacted in cash through bank notes is going down quite significantly because now you have more digital (payment) channels through mobile money and core banking systems both in banks and fintechs," Robert Nyamu, the head of financial services at consultancy EY said.
Unlike during the formative years when mobile money platforms were largely used for person-to-person (P2P) cash transfers, they are now increasingly being used to initiate and cut business deals such as purchase of goods and services as well as processing of instant short-term loans.
Nancy Matimu, chief digital officer at HF Group, said borrowers are now more guaranteed to get unsecured loan via mobile app.
"Whereas everything else has been slowing or shrinking when it comes to credit, mobile has been growing. Therefore, there has been a big push of (mobile) payments by lending apps," Ms Matimu, who is driving the growth strategy for HF Whizz, the latest entrant into growing mobile lending segment, said.