Mastercard Payment Index: More Consumers in Three African Countries Plan to Use Crypto Based Payment Methods


According to a recent Mastercard payment index report, the Covid-19 related lockdowns helped spread the use of cryptocurrency in three African countries, namely Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. The report also reveals that a greater number of consumers from these countries are “likely to use one emerging payment method in the coming year.”

More Respondents Planning to Pay With Cryptos in the Upcoming Year

In fact, according to findings of a survey conducted between February 26 and March 10, 2021, a significant number of the respondents from these countries plan to use cryptocurrencies in the coming year. For instance, in Nigeria, which recently barred banks from servicing the crypto industry, 65% of the respondents are planning to pay using crypto.

In contrast, about 43% of respondents from Kenya signaled their intention to use cryptocurrencies when making payments. South Africa (41%) has the lowest number of consumers that plan to make use of cryptos in the coming year. Commenting on this rising demand for such emerging payment methods, Raghav Prasad, the Division President at Mastercard said:

The pandemic made us think differently, partly out of necessity.To deliver the choice and flexibility that consumers need – and increasingly expect –retailers worldwide need to offer a range of payment solutions that are easy to access and always on.”

Prasad adds that as long-term shifts in consumer transaction and payment methods accelerate, Mastercard will “continue to work with merchants, fintechs and banking partners to rapidly innovate payment options.”

Kenyans More Adaptive to Changes

In the meantime, the study findings show that while Nigeria leads the continent, Kenya is slightly ahead when it comes to the number of respondents that are “considering emerging payments such as biometrics, digital currencies and QR code” as payment options.

According to the payments giant’s index, 99% of respondents from Kenya say they will consider these emerging payment options which three points higher than Nigeria’s 96%. South Africa is not too far behind with 95%.

In terms of increased access to a variety of payment methods, 96% of Kenyan consumers said they now “have access to more ways to pay compared to this time last year.” In both South Africa and Nigeria, only 86% answered affirmative when asked a similar question. On the other hand, 81% of the respondents from Kenya said digital payments helped them save money. The figure is higher than South Africa’s 78% and Nigeria’s 77%.

What are your thoughts on the rising preference for emerging payment methods in Africa? You can share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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