A huge chunk of mobile money assets comes from rural consumers who lack access to formal banking services, a Kenya Bankers Association survey shows. Its findings indicate that 59 per cent of Kenyans are using mobile phones for financial transactions, of which those in rural areas exceed urban ones by 71 per cent. “Respondents in rural areas use mobile phones for financial transactions than those in urban, particularly so in Eastern region at 80 per cent. The use of mobile phones for financial transaction is lowest in the Coast region at 38 per cent,” it says.

KBA said the mobile banking survey 2014 was conducted using a research sample of 1,258 participants. Mobile money services are offered predominantly by M-Pesa, with Orange Money and Airtel Money being other providers. However, others such as Tangaza Pesa, Equitel and Zioncell are emerging. Communications Authority of Kenya’s data show mobile money transfer service subscriptions stood at 26.2 million in March 2014.

The Central Bank of Kenya figures indicate the value of mobile phone money transfers stood at Sh1.9 billion in 2013.

“A vast majority of respondents perceive mobile banking as cheaper than normal banking services and have quite positive attitude to it. The overall trust in the technology is about 50 per cent. However, fraud and third party agents have increased doubts on mobile money security,” the report says.