In October, Kenyans who work and live abroad sent home Sh2.3 billion more than Sh51.89 billion ($340.4 million) in remittance registered in Kenya in September.
According to the most recent data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), remittance inflows in October 2023 totalled $355.6 million, a 6.9% rise from $332.6 million in October 2022.
Notably, remittance rates also significantly rose compared to September 2023 ($340,4 million). However, Kenya’s foreign exchange reserves still dipped below the four-month import cover minimum.
Per CBK estimations, aggregate remittance inflows for the 12 months to October 2023 hit $4,165 million (Sh634.9 billion), reflecting an increase of 4.2% compared to $3,996 million (Sh609.1 billion) in the same period in 2022.
The biggest monthly inflow was registered in July this year. Then remittance inflow exceeded $378 million.
Local media attributed the increased remittances to the reduction of inflationary pressures in major economies, such as the US, which traditionally remains the top contributor of Kenyan remittances, accounting for 54% of October’s total inflow.
Moreover, as anticipated by Western Union’s first Global Money Transfer Index, a rise in remittances can be driven by the weakening shilling. Migrant workers are currently able to leverage the declining shilling value relative to the US dollar and send more money home.
Along with the US, Saudi Arabia has recently emerged as one of the leading contributors to the significant growth of incoming remittances in Kenya.
Remittances are a major source of income for many households in Kenya. Therefore, they are facilitated by numerous fintech initiatives.
In August, Airtel Africa and Mastercard launched a new remittance transfer service that can potentially benefit 100 million mobile phone users across the continent. Earlier, Strike announced plans to improve remittance payments into Africa via the Lightning Network on Bitcoin, thanks to the partnership with the mobile app Bitnob.