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East Africa: Youth leading users of mobile banking

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Nearly half of Kenyans aged between 18 and 35 have embraced mobile bank accounts as alternative banking channels continue to gain traction, fresh data shows.

Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSD) annual report for 2016 shows that by the end of last year, 46 per cent of the young adults used mobile banking, helping grow financial inclusion in Kenya to 82.6 per cent from 74.9 per cent in 2013.

On average 17.5 per cent of Kenyans are engaged in mobile banking, the report shows.

“Just a few years after introduction, mobile banking services are already used by 17.5 per cent of Kenyans and have become the most common banking solution among youth,” says FSD in the annual report.

Some 17.5 per cent of those aged between 36 and 45 use mobile banking, dropping to 11.4 per cent for the 46 to 55 age group and 3.7 per cent for those aged above 55.

The use of traditional banking services is most prevalent among the 26 to 35 age group at 37.9 per cent, followed by the 46 to 55 group at 36.4 per cent and the 36 to 45-year-olds at 36.3 per cent.

Banks have incorporated mobile money into their systems beyond the usual sending and receiving of cash, and are now disbursing loans and offering customer service options on their mobile banking platforms.

The lenders are riding on the runaway success of mobile money transactions in Kenya, which has been driven mainly by Safaricom’s #ticker:SCOM M-Pesa.

Central Bank of Kenya data shows that Kenyans moved Sh1.2 trillion in mobile money transactions in the first four months of this year, up from Sh1.04 trillion in a similar period in 2016.

FSD says that nearly one in three Kenyan adults are now using mobile money services.

“Inclusion was driven by mobile money services, used by over 71 per cent of adults, and by mobile banking services such as M-Shwari, Equitel and KCB-M-Pesa,” says FSD.

Credit: Business Daily

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