Credit and debit cards becoming popular in Kenya

Nov 10, 2011

Use of credit and debit cards is on the rise in Kenya, figures from the country's central bank have revealed.

Use of credit and debit cards is on the rise in Kenya, figures from the country's central bank have revealed.

According to the Daily Nation, the latest data indicates a 22.06 percent growth, with 8.6 million cards in use as of July 2011, up from 5.5 million a year earlier.

Transactions totalling Sh1.2 trillion (€9.25 billion) have been made using plastic up to June this year and debit cards are the more popular of the two among Kenyans, making up 81 percent of the total number of cards in use.

As a result of the trend, both MasterCard and Visa firms are planning to open offices in the nation.

Magdalene Nulandi of Chase Bank was quoted by the news source as saying they are especially being used by middle classes who have disposable income.

"Kenyans increasingly want to go plastic," she observed.

However, Annie Kigira-Kinuthia, Regional Head of Brand and Sponsorship for Africa at Standard Chartered - which recently launched a mobile phone-based virtual shopping card in partnership with MasterCard - noted cash is "still prevalent" in the country.

Acceptance of cards among merchants is "gradually increasing", she said.ADNFCR-2976-ID-800922581-ADNFCR