Kenya's mobile payment in steady decline on reliefs removal, pandemic disruptions
Mobile money usage in Kenya has been on a steady decline since January when the government ended relief measures that encouraged cashless transactions amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the country's central bank Monday.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya showed that cash transactions handled by mobile money agents in the nation declined for a fourth consecutive month to reach 502.22 billion Kenyan shillings (about 4.66 billion U.S. dollars) in April.
Analysts blamed the decline on a number of factors, chiefly among them the removal of the emergency waivers for mobile money transactions and the negative effects of the pandemic on the domestic economy.
The Kenyan government in March 2020 introduced several measures including the removal of charges on small transactions that are 1,000 Kenyan shillings and below to encourage cashless payment usage amid the pandemic. The emergency measures expired on Dec. 31, 2020.
"Again, since there has been no direct link between usage of cash and spread of COVID-19, there is also a likelihood that most people are reverting to use of cash," said Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Nairobi-based software development start-up Edell IT Solutions.