8 January 2013

Kenya: Only 4 Percent Use Credit Cards - Survey

Kenyans are yet to fully adapt to use of plastic money to pay for goods and services.

Only four per cent of Kenyans use credit and debit cards when shopping, according to a 2012 survey by research firm Consumer Insight.

This is a slight improvement from the 2 per cent shoppers using cards in 2011.

The survey showed 95 per cent of people pay with cash, while 1 per cent of shoppers are using their accumulated loyalty points.

The slow uptake of cards was because consumers considered them cumbersome and they still have limited acceptability.

"Overall, amidst the sea of change in shopping habits, one thing has remained distinctly Kenyan: shoppers still pay for their purchases using notes and coins (95pc)," said the statement.

Global cards-payment firms, notably Visa and MasterCard have recently been lining for the Kenyan market seen to have huge potential.

By November last year, Visa said it had about 3 million plastic cards with transactions worth $350 million (Sh29.9 billion) but acknowledged cash was still the most popular mode of payment in the country.

Other findings showed newer consumer brands overthrowing older ones pushed by aggressive advertising.

Examples included brands such as Molo Milk and Soko maize meal which have gained considerable market share.

Soko maize meal is now the leading brand in its category with a 24 per cent share, a big overthrow of Jogoo, the longtime incumbent.

But there are some brands that are still going strong like Mumias sugar, Always pads and Royco.

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