At least 40.93 million out of the 68 million registered mobile money accounts were inactive as of December 2021, new data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has shown.
The inactive accounts increased by 926,000, a number attributed to mounting digital loans.
“This (increase in inactive mobile money accounts) is attributed to the increase in the number of mobile loan defaulters whose SIM cards remained inactive during the reference period,” said the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
Giant telco Safaricom had the lion’s share of active mobile money accounts with 62.5 percent of them or 26.22 million being active over 30 days.
According to the data, the telco through its mobile money platform M-Pesa controls a 99.9 percent market share or Ksh2.206 trillion out of the total value of transactions of Ksh2.208 trillion.
Airtel Money and Telkom’s T-Kash handled Ksh2.2 billion and Ksh120 million respectively in 2021.
Early this month, Safaricom announced that M-PESA has crossed 30 million customers using the service every month in Kenya.
Kenya remains M-PESA’s most active market accounting for more than 30 million of the service’s 51 million customers across Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.
“M-PESA’s success has been achieved on the back of consistent focus on the needs of our customers by ensuring that we are constantly delivering innovations that add value to their lives,” says Mr Peter Ndegwa, the CEO of Safaricom. “We thank all our customers for getting us to the 30 million monthly active customers milestone.”
The growth in M-PESA customer usage has been driven by the launch of various innovations over the years including financial services such as M-Shwari, KCB M-PESA and Fuliza.
Safaricom has equally established both local and global partnerships that enable customers to send and receive money, and to make payments across the world including with PayPal, AliExpress and Western Union.
The last two years have seen M-PESA record higher growth in business usage with the number of businesses accepting payments on its Lipa Na M-PESA service more than doubling from 173,000 in April 2020 to more than 387,000 today.