Digital payments have shifted from being a nice-to-have for businesses to a necessity as more consumers prefer digital platforms as their primary payment method. This is according to Faith Nkatha, the Country Manager for Cellulant in Kenya who made the remarks at the opening ceremony of this year’s Social Media Week in Nairobi. Taking place from 16th to 19th November 2021 at Movenpick Hotel, the event is themed “Re-invention: Re-imagining Digital and Technology for a better tomorrow” bringing together industry leaders to discuss trends in the market.
Speaking to trends in digital payments pre and post-COVID, Faith said “In 2019, Cellulant processed $5.7 billion worth of payments in Kenya alone. In 2020, accelerated by the COVID- pandemic, we saw a 40% increase and we’re looking at a 50% projected to increase by the close of 2021” The growth witnessed in Kenya is reflective of the payments landscape in the rest of Africa, reports Cellulant, with a noted shift in consumer behavior.
At the onset, consumers were looking for different digital payment options as physical stores were closed and when they opened such methods provided safer ways to make payments in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
However, that is no longer the case today, as what we’re witnessing is a shift of customer behavior and reinforcing adoption of digital payments across different business verticals as posited by Kenya’s Country Manager at Cellulant. “As more of our merchant customers’ prefer digital payments, we’re innovating new payment frameworks and growing our partnerships in response to this growing demand,” added Faith Nkatha Gitonga. “We’re definitely seeing more of our customers from airlines, e-commerce companies, ride-hailing companies, online travel agencies, utilities and telecoms asking for more platform-style digital products and diversity in the payment method they offer to their customers..”
For Cellulant, growth in the payments technology space goes beyond the convenience of making and receiving payments. The resultant effects of the security and convenience afforded by digital payments are critical to financial inclusion and economic empowerment for millions of people across Africa enabling them to take the reins of development that will transform the continent.
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