Tue, 22 Sep 2020

A customer is seen at an M-pesa shop in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 11, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Yan)

The use of mobile money in Kenya has surged to a new high boosted by the government's measure to encourage cashless payment during the war against COVID-19.

NAIROBI, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The use of mobile money in Kenya has surged to a new high boosted by one of the measures declared by the government in the war against COVID-19.

The government at the outbreak of the disease in March waived charges on sending up to 1,000 shillings (about 9.3 U.S. dollars) to encourage cashless payments in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.

The move was also to help cushion most vulnerable households, said the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

New data from the CBK, which regulates the fintech sector, shows on Wednesday the measure has greatly lifted the use of mobile money in the country.

The East African nation residents made transactions worth about 13.2 billion dollars between March and June, the CBK data indicated.

Free mobile money transactions have encouraged Kenyans to pay bus fares, shop at supermarkets, and pay utility bills virtually, limiting the use of cash.

"CBK notes that the measure was timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need," said Central Bank governor Patrick Njoroge. ■

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