The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is calling for an enhanced vigilance in mobile money transaction to mitigate cases of money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation finance.
The call follows a review in the limits for mobile money transactions and the size of mobile money wallet. The daily mobile wallet has been increased from Sh300,000 to Sh500,000 and the transaction limit increased from Sh150,000 to Sh250,000.
The new transaction limit will apply for all transactions that make use of mobile money rails and infrastructure, including transactions between payment service providers, banks and other institutions that partner with mobile money providers.
“Payment Service Providers (PSPs) need to implement an enhanced and appropriate risk mitigation measures to identify, mitigate and report risks such as fraud including the risk of digital or online scams, operational risks, cybersecurity, including speedy resolution of customer complaints,” said CBK in a statement.
“We will closely monitor the implementation of the approved measures, to take appropriate action where necessary and assess impact on the wider financial ecosystem,” the regulator said.
According to CBK, the increase in the amount transacted through mobile money, and a higher mobile money wallet, will further deepen financial inclusion and facilitate businesses that have been constrained by the size of the mobile money wallet. The new measures are also expected to support government’s efforts to digitize payments of services offered to Kenyans.
Since 2020, CBK in consultation with Payment Service Providers and other financial institutions implemented a range of measures to facilitate mobile money transactions to support citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic period, the measures were withdrawn between 2020 and 2022. Over this period, to date, there has been a significant increase in the volume and value of mobile money transactions, number of new active customers, and services that facilitate payments to businesses such as pay bill and till numbers.
CBK data from the period March 2020 to June 2023 indicates number of pay bills and till numbers have increased by 43 per cent and 267 per cent respectively. Volume and value of pay bill payments have increased by 301 per cent and 352 per cent respectively while volume and value of till number payments have increased by 433 per cent and 166 per cent, respectively.
Mobile money payments hit a record KES 7.9 trillion in 2022, fueled by increased demand for cashless transactions and the establishment of 19,711 new money agents.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows the number of active mobile agents rose to 317,983 last year, an increase from 298,272 active agents in 2021, suggesting entrepreneurs recognized an opportunity in the market to provide cash deposit and withdrawal services in under-served areas, particularly in rural regions where there were limited or no mobile money agents.
Further, some 5.09 million new mobile money accounts were opened during the year, bringing the total number of mobile accounts to 73.12 million, up from 68.03 million in 2021, signalling increased demand for mobile transaction services.