Kenyans want more digital services – Mastercard survey




Almost 90% of consumers in Kenya use their mobile phones more than any other device according to the new Mastercard’s Impact of Innovation study .

Preference for mobile payments remains very high in Kenya at 87%, with 96% of Kenyanusing their smartphone as their primary device according to the SurveyLaptop penetrationcurrently at 90%, is significantly higher than the penetration of traditional desktop computers, which is sitting at 70%.

The Mastercard Impact of Innovation study, launched at the 2016 Mastercard Innovation Forum in Budapest, surveyed 23,000 consumers in 23 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, about their attitudes to digital technology. 

All those surveyed were living in urban areasactive online, owned a bank account and were between the ages of 20 and 50. 

The survey found that while in Africa and the Middle East over 70% of respondents said they were ready to pay with their mobile phonesWestern Europeans have some way to go – with only 40% stating the same. However, when asked about new ways to pay, consumers across all regions chose their mobile device as an alternative to the traditional payment card.

Our study confirms that not only is there a huge appetite for new ways to pay, but consumers overwhelmingly want to use their mobile phones. In fact, many are ready to do so right now. For decades, payment cards have been the only reasonable alternative to cash – but consumers are saying loud and clear that they want digital innovations in all areas of their life,” says Daniel Monehin, President, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

Consumers demand more innovation in crucial areas

Consumers in Kenya are very positive regarding digitalization and especially about the impacts of innovation on society.  

Eighty-six percent of Kenyans believe that digital tools will be used more often by more people. They believe digital innovation will be very important for public transport, healthcare and education in the country in the future. 

Kenya has a high rate of adoption when it comes to mobile technology. This, coupled with the positivity towards digitalization displayed in this research, points to a deep understanding by Kenyans of the positive socio-economic effects which innovation and digitalization can have on the development of the country’s economy, says Monehin.

While enthusiastic about innovation, consumers in Kenya want to feel secureespecially when it comes to making payments. Consumers unanimously agreed that they wanted to feel that their bank account was secure, followed by the safety of their personal data. They also value the speed and simplicity that the payment processes provide

In Kenya mobile payment apps are considered to be convenient and time-saving, however users have expressed concern about security.  Other barriers to the use of mobile payment apps by Kenyan consumers are their perceptions on hidden costs, reliability issues and infrequent updates. 

“In previous years many consumers told us that they had a negative or neutral view of digital innovation. But this Survey shows a major shift in consumer behaviour. People across the diverse countries surveyed want a digital lifestyle and think it will benefit their livesWe at Mastercard are listening to consumers about what types of innovation they want to see more of –it’s extremely exciting to see the pace and appetite for change in Kenya and across the various markets, concluded Monehin

The Mastercard Impact of Innovation study looked into the perception of digitalization and its effects on society, personal preferences in using digital technology for payment, and payment authentication. It also showed how resistant or willing respondents were in accepting and actively using digital technologies.

The survey was commissioned by Mastercard and carried out by IPSOS Research in the summer of 2016. The survey gathered data from internet users with bank accounts between the age of 20 – 50 years in Mastercard’s 4 global regions: Western Europe (countries: France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the UK); Central Eastern Europe (countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia); Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine; and the Middle East and Africa (countries: Egypt, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates). In countries marked with above, the survey is representative of Internet users, while in all the other countries the survey is representative of the whole population. 

Key Findings:

The Mastercard Impact of Innovation study – Key findings 

Western Europe(France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK)

· Consumers in Western Europe tend to be moderate when it comes to digital innovation. Larger proportions of resistants’ (17%) are paired with a lower rate of eager promoters’ (11%). The percentage of people ready to pay by smartphone is around 40%, however Sweden stands out – over 70% are ready. Western Europeans trust biometric authentication such as fingerprint (38%) more than they trust PIN (30%)  

Central Eastern Europe(Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia)    

·  Central Eastern Europe occupies the middle ground in many aspects. With the highest rate of drifting followers’ (46%) similar to Western Europe, but with a much lower rate of resistant’s’ (11%). Mobile payment readiness is 57%, and fingerprint authentication (37%) is trusted more than PIN (33%)

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey  

·         Regarding the further spread of digital services Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are the most positive: 4 out of 5 consumers think that they will be available for more people in the future. Mobile payment readiness is an average 64%, and this region boasts the highest number of ‘eager promoters’: an impressive 27%. People from these countries trust fingerprint the least – only 30% said so, but they still prefer it to PINs. SMS code leads with 40%. Demand exists for more innovation in automobile and transport industries.

Middle East & Africa  (Egypt, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africaand the United Arab Emirates)

·       Consumers in the Middle East and Africa are optimistic about the effects of digitalization and more open towards innovative solutions: Mobile payment readiness is the highest at 73% and the region has the highest ratio of enthusiastic followers (33%). People here do not generally trust PIN codes for payment (20%), however fingerprint enjoys more confidence (30%)and the list is topped by SMS code (40%). This region demands innovationin most areas: not only education, healthcare and transport, but also in commerce, finance, automobile, hotel and restaurant industries.




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