Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Kenyans embrace Online Platforms for savings and Investment Solutions, Survey Finds

More than 63 per cent of Kenyans rely on the Internet and technology for their savings and investment needs. This is according to a new study by Enwealth Financial Services that has highlighted a shift in the financial habits of Kenyans, showcasing the impact of technology on the way individuals manage their finances.

According to the 8th Edition of Enwealth Conversations: The Role of Technology in Savings and Investments in Kenya report, 64 percent of the respondents reported having benefitted from broadened choices of financial products tailored to their needs, 87 percent experienced positive peer pressure to save and invest, while all respondents acknowledged the ease of accessing information and making transactions online. This radical transformation in personal finance management points to Kenyans being more tech-savvy with the ability to filter misleading information from the internet.

During the report launch event, Simon Wafubwa, Enwealth’s Managing Director, noted,

“Technology is rapidly becoming integral to our daily lives. Despite the information overload, the majority of Kenyans have cleverly learned to sift through and consume what truly benefits them.”

According to the study, 51 percent expressed a high comfort level in sourcing relevant financial information online. TV, newspapers, social media adverts, chamas, friends in finance, Facebook peers, and financial advisor influencers emerged as the leading sources. This growing reliance on digital platforms reflects an increasing trust in obtaining financial insights online. In addition, the advent of digital platforms, widespread availability of smartphones and increased internet penetration have created new opportunities for individuals to manage their finances more efficiently.

“Reaching a point where the majority of Kenyans depend on digital platforms for transactions and financial information marks a significant milestone for our nation’s digital evolution,”

Mr. Wafubwa added.

The survey also delved into the accessibility of various financial products through digital channels. Mobile money, banking, and pension emerged as the leading sectors in terms of digital accessibility. This indicates a positive shift from previous years where mobile loan apps were the most commonly accessed financial service digitally with a sharp rise during the COVID-19 period. Nearly 49 percent of those surveyed found saving through mobile apps very convenient, 27 percent expressed satisfaction with saving through USSD codes while manual transactions were the least convenient.

Notably, slightly more than a quarter of the respondents are fairly familiar with Artificial Intelligence; a concept that could disrupt personal finance in the near future owing to features such as roboadvisors. Yet, individuals’ knowledge in emerging trends like Big Data and analytics even when the notions are gaining popularity among corporates. For instance, in one study by audit firm, EY, 93% of companies indicated that they plan to continue to increase investments in the area of data and analytics.

Kenyan couples in better financial position, Enwealth survey shows

As there is a clear trend towards embracing digital solutions for saving and investment, the positive response to technology-driven financial products indicates a growing reliance on digital platforms for convenient, accessible, and tailored financial services. This leaves concerns surrounding data protection, data and information security, and internet connectivity which providers and concerned stakeholders ought to address.

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