Mastercard study reveals African consumers seek more digital services

October 3, 2016 - 

Mastercard has released the results of its “Impact of Innovation” study, which finds that African consumers use their smartphone more than any other device.

The findings were released during the kickoff of the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, which is being attended by more than 500 people from Middle East and Africa, Central East Europe, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

For the study, Mastercard surveyed 23,000 consumers in 23 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East about their attitudes towards digital technology.

The study collected data from over 1,000 internet users with bank accounts between the ages of 20 and 50 in each of the three African markets surveyed, including Egypt, South Africa and Kenya.

The findings show that African consumers have a positive attitude towards digitilization and its impact on society.

In Kenya, the study found that 87% of citizens prefer mobile payments, while 95% use their smartphone as their primary device.

Additionally, 86% of Kenyans believe that digital tools will be used more often by people, as well as believe that digital innovation will be fundamental for public transport, healthcare and education in the future.

Similarly, 95% of South Africans said they use their smartphone more than any other device, while 73% of respondents said they were ready to pay with their mobile phone.

More than half of South African respondents said they would prefer to authenticate themselves with a fingerprint rather than a PIN when paying with a bank card.

Despite a low ratio of South African respondents stating they would use biometric authentication, more than two thirds consider these methods to be a safe way to make purchases.

In Egypt, two-thirds of respondents said they would rather use their mobile device to make payments over the use of a traditional card payments.

Additionally, 70% of Egyptian respondents said that they would prefer to pay using their mobile phone.

All three African countries showed positive attitudes toward digital in all areas of life, including innovation, security and making payments.

The study showed that consumers across South Africa, Egypt and Kenya are largely seeking faster, more secure and smarter methods of payment for a range of transactions.

Previously reported, the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) partnered with Mastercard and Visa to introduce a new standardized specification to facilitate biometric authentication on payment cards.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.