Market News

Kenyans’ use of cards to pay for Valentine’s gifts rises 183pc

Survey shows rising online shopping of presents as opposed to visiting shops. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Survey shows rising online shopping of presents as opposed to visiting shops. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Mastercard says Kenyans’ use of cards to buy Valentine’s Day gifts has grown by 183 per cent in the past three years.

A survey dubbed Mastercard Love Index which analysed the behaviour of credit, debit and prepaid cardholders between February 11 and 14 in the past three years showed a growing trend of online Valentine’s Day gifts shopping as opposed to physical shopping.

While the tradition has been heavy expenditure on flowers and jewellery, this has decreased by 32 per cent compared to 2015.

“Spoiling your loved one on Valentine’s Day shows no signs of slowing down. Our data suggests that while people still purchase gifts via the traditional way, online payments are convenient and make life that little bit easier,” said Mastercard East Africa Vice President and Area Business Head Chris Bwakira.

Mr Bwakira said there is great potential in enhancing the online retail environment for businesses to expand their service and product offering thereby opening up new revenue streams.

“Technology is playing a key role in changing consumer behaviour, helping people to search for their perfect gift online and having it delivered to their doorstep.
“This type of purchasing indicates some level of planning,” said Mr Bwakira.

The survey adds that 74 per cent of purchases were planned on or before February 11, with gift delivery set for February 14 while the remaining 26 per cent of cardholders made purchases on Valentine’s Day. 

The survey adds that travel-related spending grew by 90 per cent last year, accounting for 28 per cent of total spending during the Valentine’s period.