A customer transacts at a Safaricom M-Pesa. Excise duty on mobile money transfers went higher following enactment of the Finance Bill 2018 last week.

Kenyans moved Ksh1.17 trillion through mobile money transfer services in the first quarter of this year, according to a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Of these, a total of 290.5 million transactions worth Ksh627.4 billion were for goods and services while person-to-person money transfers amounted to Ksh520.4 billion.

“The number of mobile money subscriptions stood at 27.5 million subscriptions whereas the number of active mobile money transfer agents was registered at 174,018,” says the report. The volume of transactions on this platform was recorded at 471.1 million.

According to the report, Safaricom’s M-Pesa was the leading medium for money transfers recording a total of 364.2 million transactions worth Ksh890.7 billion. Airtel Money came second with 8,117,770 transactions worth Ksh5.84 billion and Orange Money third with 26,000 transactions valued at Ksh125,674,000.

Equity Bank’s Equitel Money was used 97,608,310 times to move a total of Ksh271,806,473,195. Other platforms were Mobile Pay, which moved Ksh1,434,945,936, and Mobikash (Ksh127,032,829).

In total, the number of mobile money subscriptions stood at 27.5 million subscriptions whereas the
number of active mobile money transfer agents was registered at 174,018, says the report.

The mobile phone service providers, however, registered a 3.7 per cent decline in voice traffic during the quarter under review to record 10.4 billion minutes from last quarter’s 10.8 billion minutes. “This could mainly be attributed to the end of festivities that was experienced during the previous quarter and the similar trend was experienced during the same period in the previous year,’ says the report.

The volume of on-net mobile traffic was recorded at 9.2 billion minutes registering a drop of 2.7 per cent compared to 9.5 billion minutes posted during the previous quarter.

The off-net mobile traffic registered a total of 1.1 billion minutes during the quarter under review down from 1.3 billion minutes posted in the previous quarter. On the other hand, mobile to fixed network traffic grew .

The volume of total traffic terminating on local mobile network stood at 10.3 billion minutes during the quarter under review. This is a drop of 3.7 per cent when compared to 10.7 billion minutes recorded during the previous quarter. On the contrary, the volume of fixed to mobile network traffic increased to post 11.7 million minutes from last quarter’s 10.3 million minutes.

Airtel Kenya declines

Safaricom recorded a total of 8.5 billion minutes during the quarter under review. This was a decline from 8.7 billion minutes posted in the previous quarter. The volume of on-net traffic was 8.1 billion minutes while off-net traffic stood at 361.2 million minutes. Despite the drop in the volume of voice traffic, the operator had its voice market share rising to stand at 82.0 per cent from 80.6 per cent attained during the preceding quarter.

The total volume of voice traffic registered by Airtel Networks Limited was 1.2 billion minutes during the quarter under review. This was a decline compared to 1.4 billion minutes recorded during the previous quarter. Subsequently, its voice market share dropped to stand at 12.1 per cent from 13.5 per cent.

Telkom Kenya local voice traffic decreased by 3.1 per cent during the quarter under review to stand at 572.3 million minutes from 590.9 million minutes recorded during the preceding quarter. On the other hand, its voice market share gained by 0.1 per centage points to stand at 5.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent attained during the preceding quarter.

Smaller players have their share

During the period under review, Finserve Africa Limited recorded an increase in the volume of local voice traffic to stand at 46.6 million minutes from 46.5 million minutes posted in the previous quarter. Its on-net and off-net voice traffic stood at 3.6 million and 43.0 million minutes respectively.

Sema Mobile Services saw its local voice traffic increase by 11.5 per cent to post a total of 47,057 minutes during the quarter under review from 42,205 minutes recorded during the previous quarter. Mobile Pay Limited reported a total of 28,654 minutes of local voice traffic.

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