June 28th 2017

Business / Technology

New report shows Kenyan Diaspora tops in mobile-to-mobile money transfer

''Inward remittances reached a record value of just under $161m in November 2016, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, making it one of the nation’s top earners'', says the report, released to mark the the 10th anniversary of M-PESA, the biggest mobile money service in Kenya.

By David JagongoTuesday, 28 Mar 2017 16:26 EAT

A Safaricom MPesa shop.

Kenyans abroad are the biggest senders of mobile to mobile remittances, according to a report released today by leading mobile money transfer firm, WorldRemit. Transfers to mobile money accounts make up 93 percent of WorldRemit transactions to Kenya now - showing that Kenyans continue to be early adopters of innovative technology, even when abroad.

Mobile money has played a key role in the growth of WorldRemit’s Kenyan customer base, attracted by the low price, speed and convenience of sending instant remittances from the app or website directly to a mobile phone in Kenya, the firm says.

Getting down to actuals, the firm said in a press release that in January 2017, WorldRemit customers transferred more than $140m (at annualised rate) to Kenya, making WorldRemit one of the largest remittance companies serving the Kenyan diaspora. Top remittance-sending countries are the UK, Australia, US, Germany, Canada and Nordic countries.

With three million Kenyan living abroad, with large communities in North America, Europe and Australia, remittances play an important role in Kenya’s economy, says the report. ''Inward remittances reached a record value of just under $161m in November 2016, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, making it one of the nation’s top earners'', says the report, released to mark the the 10th anniversary of M-PESA, the biggest mobile money service in Kenya.

“Kenya is famed for leading Africa’s digital transformation, and today it’s Kenyans abroad who are at the forefront of digitising international money transfers," said RemitWorld Founder and CEO Ismail Ahmed. "Most of our Kenyan customers use our mobile app, demonstrating the strong demand for convenience when sending to friends and family", he added.

WorldRemit is now connected to over a fifth of all mobile money accounts-112 million of 500 million mobile accounts around the world. Seventy four percent of all international international remittances to mobile money accounts coming from money transfer operators are sent via WorldRemit, says the money transfer firm.

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