Betting economy is thriving in Kenya thanks to Mobile Money

Mobile money use cases are popular across the country and other parts of Africa. According to data collected by GeoPoll, mobile money had a 28 percent average use rate across different categories in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria.

So far, the gambling space, which is undergoing a difficult time in Kenya features as the most popular payment method at 63 percent, followed by home internet at 54 percent, airtime purchases at 53 percent, and paid TV services at 53 percent.

Admittedly, airtime and gambling are closely associated with mobile money services and products, hence it is not surprising to see their use cases on the top of this list.

Mainly, betting and pay -TV are the most popular mobile money payment categories in Kenya at 82 percent. This makes sense following the state’s digital migration program that saw Kenyans acquire all manner of TV boxes and services for digital signals, and Kenya’s addiction to betting products.

Kenyans are also using mobile money services to pay for home internet (71 percent) in a space that is dominated by Safaricom’s Home Fibre, among other competitors that primary offer services in Nairobi and select major towns. Airtime purchases conclude the top four mobile payment categories at 64%.

Unsurprisingly, a similar trend was reported in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Uganda with betting topping the list. Things are a little different in Nigeria, where a large share of mobile money payments are for home internet and Uganda where pay-TV tops the list.

GeoPoll reports somewhat expected debit cards use cases, which were only used for 10 percent of payments overall. Mobile money is a big thing in the continent, and millions of Africans do not have access to formal banks.

Nigeria use cases were more active than other countries studied because the nation does not have a robust mobile money system. Nigerians use the cards to pay for insurance premiums (40%), and betting at 31%. Kenyans use debit cards to pay for video streaming services (14%), and besides Showmax that supports M-PESA payments, Netflix, which popular in the country, is yet to adopt a mobile money-based payment solution.


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