Home Economy Uganda’s Mobile Money Transactions Surge to Record High 523 Billion Shillings

Uganda’s Mobile Money Transactions Surge to Record High 523 Billion Shillings

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In the past year, the Bank of Uganda has reported a substantial rise in the value of mobile money transactions, reaching Shs191 trillion by June, a 23 percent increase from the Shs156 trillion recorded in the same period the previous year. This growth in transaction value has corresponded with an increase in transaction volumes, rising from 4.76 billion to 5.8 billion during this period, a 22 percent increase.

On average, this means that Ugandans transacted Shs523 billion per day, equivalent to approximately 16 million transactions each day in the 12 months leading up to June. This marks an increase from Shs427 billion per day and 13 million transactions in 2022.

Dr. Kenneth Egesa, the communications director at the Bank of Uganda, attributes this trend to the licensing of more payment service providers and an expanded recruitment of merchants, which has led to more person-to-business transactions. He noted that these licensees have introduced new e-money use cases and payment solutions, which are gaining popularity in sectors like public transport, savings and investment credit, health, and education.

During this period, cash-in and cash-out transactions accounted for the majority, with 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively, making up the bulk of the transactions. This amounted to more than 1.2 billion deposits against 592 million withdrawals.

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

Breaking down the data further, it is evident that males dominate the agent and customer numbers at 66 percent and 60 percent, respectively. As of June, there were 42.9 million registered users, with 60.35 percent being male, 38.68 percent female, and the remaining portion attributed to artificial persons.

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

Data from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for the period between January and March indicated the addition of at least 500,000 new mobile money accounts to the network. 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. This growth was associated with a surge in transactions, including person-to-person transfers, utility and merchant payments, gaming, and school fees payments.

UCC data also revealed that the adoption of cashless payments in the mobile financial space led to 10.7 billion USSD sessions in the industry, representing a 6 percent increase from the 10.1 billion sessions recorded in December 2022. Notable services included mobile banking, balance checks, school fees payments, utility bill payments, prepaid mobile recharge, money transfers, mobile top-up, booking, and reservations.