Ugandans transact Shs520b on mobile money per day 

Payments and other innovations have been key in pushing up the value of money transacted through mobile money. Photo / Edgar R Batte

What you need to know:

  • The Shs520b translates to at least 16 million transactions per day during the period

Bank of Uganda has registered continued growth in value of mobile transactions hitting Shs191 trillion in the 12 months to June, which is a 23 percent increase from Shs156 trillion in the same period in 2022.

The growth in value matches the increase in transaction volumes, which during the period grew from 4.76b to 5.8b or by 22 percent. 

This, therefore means, that Ugandans on average transacted Shs523b, which translates to 16 million transactions per day in the 12 month to June. This was, however, a growth from Shs427b per day from 13 million transactions in 2022. 

Dr Kenneth Egesa, Bank of Uganda communications director, said the trend is attributed to licensing of more payment service providers and a scaled up recruitment of merchants, which has contributed to the increase in person-to-business transactions.

“The licensees have continued to introduce new e-money use cases and payment solutions, which seem to be gaining traction in the public transport, savings and investment credit, health and education sectors,” he said. 

During the period, cash-in and cash-out transactions constituted the bulk of the transactions at 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively, with at least more than 1.2 billion deposits recorded against 592 million withdrawals. 

As at June, the electronic money service providers had enlisted the services of 626,662 agents representing a significant increase of 33.8 percent compared to 468,476 agents in June 2022.

Further disaggregation of data shows that the male gender dominates the agents and customer numbers at 66 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

As at June, the number of registered users stood at 42.9 million, of which 60.35 percent were male and 38.68 percent female. The remaining portion was attributed to artificial persons.

Active mobile money accounts stood at 26.4 million up from 22.7m  held by a total of 20.7m national identification number holders.

Data from UCC for the period between January and March indicates at least 500,000 new mobile money accounts were added on to the network while in year-on-year terms, the industry registered an increase of four million new registered mobile money accounts, reflecting a 12 percent growth since March 2022. The growth was associated with a spike in transactions such as person-to-person transfers, utility and merchant payments, gaming and school fees payments.

UCC data also shows that the mobile financial spaces adoption of cashless payment has led to 10.7 billion USSD sessions in the industry, representing a 6 percent increase from 10.1 billion sessions recorded in December 2022.

Some of the services in which, USSD transactional activity in the quarter included mobile banking and balance check, school fees payments, utility bill payments, prepaid mobile recharge, money transfers, mobile top-up, booking and reservations.