The number of mobile money subscriptions has been declining over the past three quarters after the introduction of biometric data entry, a report shows.
The Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) quarterly report shows that admissions have been steadily declining since last year.
“The continued slow uptake of mobile subscriptions as observed in the previous quarter was due to the shutdown of the USSD customer collection channel and the absolute adoption of the app channel for SIM registration,” CA said in the report.
“As of December 31, 2021, the number of active mobile subscriptions (SIM) was 65.08 million compared to the 64.89 million subscriptions registered at the end of September, representing a marginal increase of 0.30 percent,” the report read in part .
The app channel ensures that SIM card registration records biometric data.
A report from CA covering July-September 2021 shows that the number of mobile money subscriptions has dropped by 0.2 percent to 64.9 million, due to an increase in inactive SIM cards as a result of subscribers defaulting on digital loans.
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Mobile penetration in the country stood at 133.6 percent in 2021, an increase from 129.1 percent the year before.
This was helped by enhanced digital inclusion and the policies that encourage multi-SIM card ownership.
With the design of mobile phones becoming more adaptable to accommodate dual and multiple SIM cards, a person can have many lines registered under different telecommunications companies.
Digitization has also led companies to have SIM cards to pay for services, including Safaricom Lipa na M-Pesa for businesses and ISPs.
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“At the beginning of 2021, the use of mobile money services was expected to decrease or decrease, following the repeal of some of the Covid-19 containment measures concerning the financial sector,” the regulator said.