VENTURES AFRICA – A recent survey by MasterCard has revealed that Kenya is the most prepared country in Africa that is ready to adopt mobile payment technology system. The MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI) survey was conducted in thirty-four countries globally, comparing their readiness to use three mobile payments platform of “person to person”, “mobile web commerce” and “mobile contactless payments at the point of sale”. Of the 34 countries surveyed globally, Kenya emerged fourth beating technology-focused countries like India, South Korea, China and Japan. It also identified Kenya as one of the most prepared market alongside Singapore, Canada, the United States and South Korea.
Kenya’s success with mobile money is credited to “a lack of traditional infrastructure and alternative conventional payment media. Mobile suggested itself as a solution to a population deeply in need of a fast and secure method of payment,” MasterCard report posits.
The report further authenticates Kenya’s image as a leader in technological innovation regionally and globally.
The MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI) also revealed “the success of M-Pesa has created an alternative payment network in Kenya, making it, in terms of sheer usage, one of the most advanced markets in the world.”
Quoting the report:
The success of mobile payments in Kenya is remarkable and can serve as a blueprint for payments adoption in the rest of the emerging world. They’ve shown the way globally, but the country itself is also ripe for a more flexible and accessible payments structure that leverages all types of payments and permits multilateral entry into a broader-based financial services and telecommunications infrastructure.The MPRI found out that while no two markets are the same, consumer readiness is the critical success factor to drive mobile payments adoption around the globe.
The Index also revealed that in some markets young affluent consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old are the most willing to engage in mobile payments as they recognize the value of using mobile payments instead of cash or payment cards. While this demographic was predominantly male in most countries, women showed higher levels of interest in countries such as China, Egypt and the Philippines.
The report however says there is considerable room for expansion of mobile payment technology in Kenya. It also disclosed that nine of the 10 markets with the highest consumer scores are in APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa).
Theodora Iacobuzio, Vice President, Insights, MasterCard Worldwide said, “Technology infrastructure, a responsive regulatory environment and a robust economy are table stakes for the advancement of mobile payments…The necessary conditions are consumer readiness and industry integration. As no one entity can develop and promote mobile payments by itself, key players in the ecosystem must work together to collectively advance the cause of mobile payments.”
MasterCard is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.