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Digital Wallets Are Driving Excitement about Payments Innovation in Kenya

According to the MasterCard Innovation Social Listening Study, digital wallets are the main topic of discussion online when it comes to payments innovation in some of the world’s biggest emerging markets.


In partnership with PRIME Research, the MasterCard social listening study analysed over 10,000 online conversations between 1 May 2015 and 30 July 2015 in seven countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia to learn what payment innovations people in these markets are most excited about and what safety and security concerns they have about adopting the latest technology.

Spikes in volume in Kenya were driven by announcements on hot topics such as digital or mobile wallets, despite the fact that some of the products being talked about haven’t been rolled out in the market yet.

The study also found that one of people’s greatest concerns when it comes to taking up innovative payments technology is how vulnerable their data could be to hackers and criminals. The announcement that MasterCard is looking into facial recognition software that would allow people to use a selfie to complete a transaction was widely discussed across the region, showing that there is interest in using biometrics to make payments both easier and more secure.

Of all the emerging markets, India was where most discussions on payments innovation took place – with nearly half the total number of posts (48 percent) – followed by Indonesia (22 percent) and Nigeria (10 percent). Overall, the majority of posts were driven by news-story sharing with 96 percent favourable tonality.

Anthony Karingi, Vice President, Business Development for MasterCard, East Africa, says: “Kenyans are looking for newer and more convenient ways to pay provided it is secure and easy to use. From mobile payments to contactless technology, MasterCard’s innovations are changing the way people pay for everyday items, providing unrivalled levels of ease and convenience.”

The study demonstrates that emerging markets are ripe for innovation, and this is one of the driving factors behind the organization of the MasterCard Innovation Forum in Kuala Lumpur, which brings together experts from the financial services industry, merchants and the public sector to discuss the future of payments.

Starting today, the two day Forum will focus on innovation in the payments and financial inclusion space, trends in relation to digital convergence and commerce, the rise in e-commerce through digital and social strategies, as well as the future of risk management given the critical importance of safety and security in payments.

Many of the innovations in payments to date have been facilitated by the expansion in mobile telecommunications, and the easy availability of mobile phones across the world. Therefore for MasterCard, constantly innovating to meet the challenges of tomorrow is crucial. Together with its partners, it is constantly developing new technologies that make transactions not just smarter and faster, but also more convenient and secure.

At the MasterCard Showcase which is happening alongside the Forum, delegates will also get to experience, first-hand, some of these innovative payment technologies brought to life for the Global Connected Cities of tomorrow.

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