Most Kenyans use phones for banking – survey

January 21, 2014

, Between 2006 and 2009, mobile phone penetration grew by over 47 percent with the penetration at 78 percent when those able to use a phone through a friend, family member or agent are included.

Industry projections show that by end of 2014, the total number of mobile subscribers is predicted to rise to 33.2 million.

Currently the mobile money market has about 17 million users transferring Sh2 billion daily.

Mobile phone firms offer M-PESA by Safaricom, Orange Money by Orange, Yu-Cash by Essar, and Airtel Money by Airtel.

A majority of Kenyans (88 percent) indicate that they operate bank accounts with the penetration of banking depending on the socio-economic status of individuals – increasing to as high as 97 percent as one moves up to the socio-economic ladder.

Savings accounts (at 45 percent) are more prevalent than current accounts (at 31 percent); with even lower prevalence for both (at 24 percent).

Banks are more accessible in Nairobi and Central Kenya where over 50 percent of customers are able to access a bank branch is 2 kilometres or less.

In North Eastern and Coast regions, there are fewer bank branches, thus a majority of bank customers have to travel for 2km to 10 km to access a bank branch.

The Mobile Banking Survey was commissioned by the Kenya Bankers Association’s Centre for Research on Financial Market and Policy and was undertaken in collaboration with Think Business Ltd. Data was collected from 1,258 respondents across the entire country, some banks and mobile service providers.

Speaking at the launch of the Survey, Kenya Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said that the growth of the mobile banking platform is steadily changing the way to do business in banks. Technology has greatly advanced playing a major role in improving the standards of service delivery in the financial institution sector.

“Days are long gone when customers would queue in the banking halls waiting to pay their utility bills, school fees or any other financial transactions. They can now do this at their convenience by using their ATM cards or over the Internet from the comfort of their homes,” he added.

“Additionally due to the tremendous growth of the mobile phone industry most financial institutions have ventured into the untapped opportunity and have partnered with mobile phone network providers to offer banking services to their clients. ATM banking is one of the earliest and widely adopted retail banking services in Kenya. “

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