Over KES1 trillion ($10 billion) of mobile money deposits and withdrawals took place in Kenya between July and September 2016 with M-Pesa maintaining a large lead the market, official statistics show.

The Kenyan government’s latest quarterly update on the communications sector showed there were 31 million subscriptions across the country’s competing mobile money services – including corporate payments, person-to-person (P2P) and money transfer. Of these, 20.7 million (66 per cent) used Safaricom’s M-Pesa service.

In terms of customer-base, Airtel Money ranked second in the market with 5.9 million users. Equitel had 2 million using its service, followed by Mobikash on 1.8 million subscribers.

The total value of customers’ deposits and withdrawals through the country’s 169,698 agents was KES1.08 trillion. Mobile payment commerce transactions were valued at KES447.4 billion while P2P transfers stood at KES474.5 billion for the three-month period. Put into context, according to the World Bank’s latest data, Kenya’s GDP stands at just below $65 billion and its population is around 46 million.

Agent numbers increased 25 per cent year-on-year, and number of subscriptions grew 8 per cent. Annual comparisons of the other metrics are not yet possible, as this is the first time the authority made them available.

M-Pesa launched in Kenya during 2007 and is often held up as an example of the transformative impact mobile money services can have on a country. Earlier this year the service was credited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as lifting two per cent of Kenyans out of poverty and was cited by a number of organisations including the UN.

In December 2016 Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (pictured, centre) revealed plans to extend the availability of M-Pesa through a series of fresh partnerships.