Kenyans are region's biggest users of cellphones for money transactions

09 January 2019 - 14:52 By Odwa Mjo
Kenyans and Sudanese are the biggest users of cellphone banking in sub-Saharan Africa. Gabon and the DRC also have high usage rates, says the World Bank.
Kenyans and Sudanese are the biggest users of cellphone banking in sub-Saharan Africa. Gabon and the DRC also have high usage rates, says the World Bank.
Image: iStock

Sixty-eight percent of Kenyan adults use a mobile phone to transact money, making them the biggest users of mobile banking in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kenya is followed by Sudan with 52%, Gabon at 50%, and the DRC with 37% of adults using mobile phones to send money.

Mobile money services and mobile banking have grown significantly in sub-Saharan Africa with the World Bank saying mobile banking has expanded to 16% of the market. 

M-Pesa's success in Kenya has played a huge role in growing financial access in the country. Forbes reported that Kenya has more than 23-million of M-Pesa's 28.5 million users in East Africa. 

M-Pesa shares the money services industry in Kenya with Airtel Money, which has more than 3-million active subscriptions, Equitel Money with almost 2-million, followed by smaller ones such as T-Kash and Mobile Pay, according to the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Around 69% of adults in the world have an account with a financial institution or mobile money service, according to the 2017 Global Findex.

About 1.2-billion adults have opened accounts since 2011 and women in the developing world are 9% less likely than men to have a bank account, according the report which is released every three years.

Two out of three adults say lack of money is the reason they do not have bank accounts  while one in three adults say the cost of opening and maintaining a bank account as well as distance are some of the reasons for not having an account, the World Bank says.

About 1.7 billion adults globally do not have bank accounts. The World Bank is aiming for universal financial access by next year.


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