Kenya has been ranked as the top-scoring country for access to and usage of appropriate, affordable, and accessible financial services across 21 countries.
The research was conducted by a US-based nonprofit organization Brookings Institution devoted to independent research and policy solutions.
Overall ranking on financial Inclusion was Kenya with 89 percent, followed by South Africa (80 percent), Brazil (78 percent), Rwanda/Uganda (75 percent each), and Chile, Colombia, and Turkey (74 percent each).
Kenya’s favourable ranking was mainly due to the adoption dimension. Its financial services sector is characterized by very high rates of mobile money usage: The 2014 World Bank Global Findex found that 58 percent of adults in Kenya had used mobile money within the preceding 12 months. The leading driver of this success is the widely used M-Pesa deployment.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates that in 2014, mobile money subscriptions had reached 26 million, representing 60 per cent penetration rate of the total population.
Cash deposits moved by mobile money agents hit Sh1,2 trillion in 2014, up from Sh1.033 trillion in 2013, while total transfers increased by 24.7 per cent to Sh2.3 trillion from Sh1.9 trillion.
Kenya was cited for allowing both banks and non-bank institutions, including mobile operators, to offer financial services. In 2012, for instance, M-Shwari was launched in Kenya as a partnership between the Commercial Bank of Africa and Safaricom to offer interest-bearing accounts and micro-loans.
Kenya was commended for permitting both banks and non-bank institutions, including mobile operators, to offer financial services.
Kenya ranked twelfth for country commitment, second for mobile capacity, third for regulatory environment and first for adoption out of 21 geographically, economically, and politically diverse countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Zambia.