Drivers of Mobile Payment Adoption: Comparing Kenya and Tanzania

Professor Dan Horne, Chief Knowledge Officer at Gx, in conjunction with Dionne Nickerson of Providence College,  has recently published a white paper called ‘Understanding the Drivers of Mobile Payment Adoption: Comparing Kenya and Tanzania’. The study looks at the perceived impact on business development and wealth creation that pervasive mobile payments usage generates and compares and contrasts micro-entrepreneurs in Kenya with those in neighbouring Tanzania where mobile payments have been available for several years but where the technologies have not seen the widespread adoption found in Kenya.

Executive Summary

Over the last three months, Gx has undertaken a number of research projects that have analysed the behaviour and attitudes of consumers and end-users with respect to the use of mobile phones as a payment device.

In Africa, we have undertaken studies in two countries that have produced different results regarding uptake of mobile payments. Unlike our European surveys, our African respondents comprised microenterprises rather than consumers. In Kenya, our research has shown that the success of M-Pesa has not been replicated in Tanzania for several reasons Including macro characteristics, usage patterns and, importantly, perceptions about how and why to use the product.

For any payment instrument, be it a traditional prepaid card or a mobile device, it is important that it is useful, easy to use and solves a pressing problem that a consumer has and crucially that the consumer can trust the application. In the African research we have highlighted here, the disparity between respondents that use mobile payments and those that do not underlines that these are essential criteria for mobile payments to be successfully adopted by a critical mass of consumers.

You can read the full report here.