As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, mobile money has become the predominant mode of payment for commerce in Kenya. Physical Cash as a payment method has been in a slow, terminal decline for many years. However, it has survived until now because of its simplicity and reliability.
Safaricom’s M-PESA has become a case study at business schools across the world. Payments are now easy with M-PESA on all points of payment. At any merchant store and now even at Mama Mboga (Small Vegetables Vendor) unlike before, it is an accepted method of payment.
With the directive from the President to avoid physical cash as one way of mitigation to minimise physical contact. Mobile Money has become the norm, the new way of doing transactions. Telcos and Commercial Banks, too, have waived transaction costs on P2P and on C2B which has sped up the business.
The Matatu Sector (Public Transport) is another key sector where physical cash was the dominant method of payment. The industry has an annual turnover of close to Kes.300 billion in collections. Previously authorities’ tried to introduce smart card payment to cure financial mismanagement which acutely ails the industry.
Reinforcement from NTSA too, to introduce a Contactless, Cashless society, has mitigated and enhanced the use of mobile money. The sector is at a unique position to gain from the innovation, to ease and have control of the revenue in one basket.