Two in every ten Kenyans abroad use Safaricom’s M-PESA to send money back home, a survey by the Central Bank of Kenya shows.
Kenyans sent home a record Kes421.9 billion ($3.718 billion) last year up from Kes351 billion ($3.094 billion) in a similar period in 2020.
Central Bank of Kenya said Safaricom channeled 20 percent of the remittances underscoring the popularity of the mobile services among Kenyans in the diaspora.
“On the most preferred service provider, the respondents indicated that M-PESA/Safaricom is the most preferred service provider, selected by 20 percent of the respondents,” CBK said.
M-PESA was followed by banks, WorldRemit, Wave, Sendwave, and Western Union.
Respondents cited convenience, prompt/efficient/ speedy service, ease of access and favorable transaction charges as the main reasons for using these service providers.
Remittance inflows to Kenya have increased tremendously in recent years.
The survey confirmed the importance of mobile money operators and money transfer companies, in addition to banks, as the main channels for cash remittances.
The Kenyan diaspora prefers digital service providers due to convenience, promptness, and ease of access.
On average, recipients receive remitted funds on the same day, reflecting the efficiency of these channels
The key findings of the Survey include: remittances are directed at family members, who are largely self-employed, unemployed, or students.
About half of the total remitted was allocated to: investment in real estate (land and buildings) for recipients, mortgage payment for senders, and purchase of food and household goods.