Kenyans in the diaspora are the biggest senders of digital remittances to mobile accounts. This is according to new data released by WorldRemit to mark the 10th anniversary of ground-breaking mobile money service M-PESA.
The data shows that transfers to mobile money accounts make up 93% 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.
In January 2017, the data shows that WorldRemit customers transferred more than $140m (at annualized rate) to Kenya, making WorldRemit one of the largest remittance companies serving the Kenyan diaspora. Top remittance-sending countries were found to be the UK, Australia, US, Germany, Canada and Nordic countries.
Remittances play an important role in Kenya’s economy. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, inward remittances reached a record value of just under $161m in November 2016, making it one of the nation’s top earners.
“Kenya is famed for leading Africa’s digital transformation, and today it’s Kenyans abroad who are at the forefront of digitizing international money transfers. Most of our Kenyan customers use our mobile app, demonstrating the strong demand for convenience when sending to friends and family.’’ Ismail Ahmed, Founder, and CEO at WorldRemit, said.
“With half a billion registered accounts worldwide, mobile money continues to transform lives by allowing people to access financial services for the first time. WorldRemit customers now send more than 65,000 transfers to the country every month from the WorldRemit app and website with over 90% going to M-PESA”. He added.
WorldRemit is now connected to over a fifth of all mobile money accounts – 112 million of 500 million mobile money accounts around the world. The company has pioneered mobile to mobile remittances, sending to 32 mobile money services in 24 countries.