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27/ 06/ 21

THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON THE KENYAN REMITTANCE INDUSTRY

It’s been just over a year since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic. It is a period that has forced economies globally to put several restrictions and measures in place to curb the spread of the virus. The whole world has been significantly affected by the pandemic leading to a downward trend in different sectors for various nations. The Kenyan economy specifically has been hit hard with many businesses having to close down and travel restrictions leading to a decrease in key foreign exchange-earners such as tourism and horticulture.

Over time, remittances have been proved to improve the well-being of family members left behind and boost the economies of receiving countries. Their inflows in recent years have increased significantly and have become the main financial external inflow in some developing countries, surpassing other inflows that traditionally play an important role in these countries, such as official development assistance and foreign direct investment (FDI). Therefore, the effects of covid-19 leading to national lockdowns, loss of businesses, and redundancy automatically mean that the ability of immigrants to support their loved ones back home is most likely going to be affected.

This, however, has so far not been the case for the Kenyan remittance industry. According to Reuters on January 15th, 2021, remittance inflows into Kenya jumped by nearly 11% in 2020 to $3.09 billion. This was attributed to technological innovations that helped people overcome the economic struggles brought on by the coronavirus crisis to send more money home. One of the major measures put in place to control the spread of the virus includes minimal face-to-face interactions hence the need for individuals to look for more convenient ways to send money home. This thus means the use of fast and convenient money transfer services such as UPESI. Money transfer services making it simple to send and receive money through mobile money accounts worldwide have played a huge role in keeping the remittance industry afloat throughout this pandemic.

With the changing dynamics in the way we operate in our day-to-day activities, the need for modernized and new technological innovations is necessary to provide consumers with services that enable them to still effectively and efficiently provide for their families regardless of their location. Upesi money transfer works on enabling individuals to take care of those they love and provide them with upward mobility and in turn improve their quality of life. We work hard to help their hard-earned money stretch farther to their loved ones safely and also enable them to take that one step to realize their dreams. Empowering one family at a time.