Jun 11, 2012

Kenyan and South African Markets Most Developed Payments Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa

A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Gallup study of 11 sub-Saharan African countries, "Payments and Money Transfer Behavior of Sub-Saharan Africans," offers an in-depth look at sub-Saharan Africans' payment behaviors regarding domestic and international remittances, government and wage payments, utilities, and other bills.
M-PESA kenya

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted June-October 2011, in 11 sub-Saharan African countries.

Points to note:

  • Many transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa are still in cash.
  • Kenyan and South African markets are the most developed payments markets in Sub-Sahara Africa  .
  • Kenyans and South Africans were the most likely to have made any transactions in the 30 days before the survey (76% and 69%, respectively), while residents in Rwanda and Mali were the least likely to do so (24% and 27%, respectively).
  • South Africans and Kenyans were also the most likely to only have used non-cash (electronic) channels (18% and 15%, respectively). In all other countries, fewer than 1 in 10 respondents used only electronic payment channels. In Mali, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone just a handful of respondents reported this (1%-2%).
  • 31% of South Africans and 22% of Kenyans used only informal cash payments in the past 30 days. These percentages translate into 10.9 million and 5.2 million potential consumers of financial services, respectively.
  • An estimated 34.8 million Nigerians are using only informal cash payments -- presenting a huge opportunity for any financial services provider that can put in place new technologies and innovative partnerships.

 Read the report here (PDF)