Nearly 1 million mobile money accounts went dormant by December 2021 according to the Central Bank of Kenya,
CBK data shows 40.93 million registered mobile money accounts were inactive as of December 2021 up from 40 million accounts a year earlier.
These data indicate that the number of dormant accounts has been growing steadily with 40.93 million out of the 68 million registered mobile money accounts being dormant.
This phenomenon has baffled the regulators who suggest that a huge portion of these dormant mobile numbers have been of mobile loan defaulters who throw away their sim cards once they borrow.
“This (increase in inactive mobile money accounts) is attributed to the increase in the number of mobile loan defaulters whose SIM cards remained inactive during the reference period,” CA said.
Among these numbers, however, rank Kenyans who have traveled abroad, are undergoing police training, are away from school, or even in hospital kept away from their phones for six months which automatically led to the deregistration of their mobile phone lines.
Kenyan telcos are required to only wait six months since the SIM card was last active on their network to declare it dormant and issue it to the next subscriber.
Safaricom however introduced the Daima Service that enables customers to keep their lines active for a period of 6 months to 2 years without the need to top up.
The service will offer three packages starting from Kes200 for 6 months, Kes500 for 1 year, and Kes1,000 for 2 years.
While the service will be crucial for customers who want to retain their lines, it will also be handy for regulators to understand trends in mobile use.
It will help isolate the truly dormant accounts and reduce the need for Kenyans to register multiple accounts every time they give up their line.