Kenyans could soon buy bonds over the phone

An initiative called “Treasury Mobile Direct” by World Bank and Central Bank will enable Kenyans to purchase bonds using their mobile handsets. The project follows the rise and adoption of mobile handsets in Kenya.

Treasury Mobile Direct by World Bank and Central Bank will see that Kenyans will be able to buy bonds using their mobile handsets. (Image: File)

According to reports by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), there has been a rise in the number of mobile money subscribers in the country, resulting in an increase of a previous count of 18.9M last month. The report also focused on the fact that more people are using mobile money deposits rather than traditional banking services to pay for goods and services.

Yira Mascaro, a leader of World Bank’s financial and private sector development group in Nairobi commented:

“Today, any Kenyan can pay an electricity bill with the phone, and so will they be able to pay for bonds bought.”

As the project is still in its initial stages, potential investors are required to be registered as mobile money subscribers with the various telecomm operators in the country, who will, in turn, open up Central Depository System accounts for them.

The scheme is expected to give rise to a savings culture and increase participation in the bond market.

Michelle Tongo