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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
More Kenyans go for plastic cards despite mobile money surge

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The number of Kenyans going for plastic money cards continues to rise despite the almost ubiquitous use of mobile money services.

In July, according to the latest data available from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), 17.2 million citizens of the east African nation held plastic cards, a record high.

The number has steadily risen, from 15.4 million cardholders in December 2017 to 16.6 million  in January, an indication that cards are still a necessity in Kenya despite the dominance of mobile money.

According to World Bank estimates, Kenya’s population stood at about 49.7 million in 2017.

Debit cards remain the most popular cards among Kenyans, with some 15.4 million citizens holding them, followed by prepaid cards at 1.3 million and credit cards at 238,121, according to the CBK.

The popularity of debit cards is attributed to the move by the country’s commercial banks in 2015 to transit customers to secure EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) debit and credit cards, which offer customers an array of services.

Usage of the cards is similarly on the rise, with a good number of Kenyans using them for shopping and to pay for bills, besides withdrawing money from automated teller machines.

In July, according to the apex bank, plastic money transactions stood at 1.17 billion U.S. dollars, a slight decline from 1.18 billion dollars in January.

Mobile money transactions in July stood at 3.32 billion dollars, up from 3.17 billion dollars in June, according to the central bank.

           

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