Kenyans opt for plastic money
Posted Thursday, August 23 2012 at 13:22
- Electronic transactions in the country particularly at point-of-sale machines are taking a very short time to process, making it easier and more convenient for consumers to use plastic compared to before.
- Kenya is quickly becoming a cashless society, going by the recent numbers from the banking regulator. Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the value of cashless transactions rose in the first six months of this year.
- Using cards helps track ones usage of money because it is easy to follow what the money was used for when the statement comes in from the bank at the end of the period.
Gone are the days when Kenyans were shy to swipe their cards at points of sale.
Today, this is the norm from supermarkets to restaurants, petrol stations and even online. Kenyans are swiping their cards as issuers put in place security measures.
Despite commercial banks issuing automated teller machine and debit cards, users remained sceptical and cautious opting to continue using traditional methods of payment, cash.
The introduction of mobile money has also seen it become a popular method of paying for goods and services, as well as paying bills.
Bernard Matthewman, Paynet group chief executive officer, carries multiple cards and even though in some instances there may be need for cash to make emergency purchases, majority of his transactions are done using cards.
“I use my card all the time…I could show you the ‘wear outs’. I travel a fair amount and each time I take cash it is just to pay for visas,” said Mr Matthewman. His company is a card processor and electronic banking solutions provider, which operates the PesaPoint payment access points.
He said that electronic transactions in the country particularly at point-of-sale machines are taking a very short time to process, making it easier and more convenient for consumers to use plastic compared to before.
“ We had an experience in Kenya where point-of-sales did not work very well, you would give your card and it would take 10 or 15 minutes. A lot of that has changed and we are starting to see the impact of that,” said Mr Matthewman.
Kenya is quickly becoming a cashless society, going by the recent numbers from the banking regulator.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the value of cashless transactions rose in the first six months of this year.
The value of debit card transactions rose by 83.04 per cent to Sh386.6 billion from Sh211.2 billion during the first half of this year, while the value of money transferred through mobile phones rose by 41 per cent to Sh726.23 billion from Sh513.87 billion over the same time period.
The number of debit cards issued during the period have risen by 15 per cent to 8.12 million from 7.07 million. Commercial banks have been issuing the cards to almost all depositors who open accounts.
The value of money transacted through point-of-sale machines jumped to Sh46.99 billion from Sh25.88 billion over the same time period, indicating that shopping using plastic money as well as internet transactions, which are also included in that category, is on an upward trend.
Credit cards are also becoming popular with transactions rising to Sh2.79 billion from Sh1.89 billion according to CBK. The number of credit cards issued rose by 10.15 per cent to 131,397.