A recent survey listing the top most powerful brands in Kenya has put Safaricom’s mobile money platform MPesa in first position, which is five places up from the position it held in the previous survey carried out in 2012.
MPesa has done so well for itself in the two years since the last study that it has even surpassed its parent company Safaricom, which lost its first position to secure position three after the Kenya Red Cross Society.
Done by a London-based organisation going by the name Centre for Brands Analysis, the survey lists the top brands depending on three major criteria that include reliability, quality and distinction. The survey interviewed respondents in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
MPesa’s popularity leading it to garner top brand position is not surprising, as previous studies have already shown that the solution has improved the lives of many people across Kenya and other regions where the platform has presence.
A last year study, for example, attributed the fast growth of mobile money use to the platform from Safaricom and also showed that people’s lives had become better as those unbanked had found a way to save money, as well as secure the little they make from losses that come with handling cash.
Now in this new survey, it is clear that Kenyans are keen to trust in the benefits of mobile technology that has eliminated the barriers of time and bulkiness in carrying out transactions. It is also to be noted that the Kenyan folk are more obliged to local brands as opposed to international.
However, international tech giants like Facebook, Google and Microsoft have made it to the top list to place at numbers five, six and seven respectively. This portraying that technology is being positively received across the country and uptake of latest technologies should be expected to increase.
Samsung has also been rewarded for its continued initiatives and new launches into the country, with Kenyans showing that they can trust what the brand is offering by placing it at position 12 from the 31st position it placed in the previous survey.
With the way technology is advancing in recent times, it is not hard to predict which companies will be topping the list when the next survey is done but surprises are most welcome. MPesa should be expected to dominate top position though, as mobile money is not going anywhere, at least not in the next few years.
According to Bill and Melinda Gates, who have expressed their interest to invest in mobile banking and everything mobile money, by 2030 the world should expect that the 2.5 Billion people who are currently unbanked (World Bank Statistics) will be enrolled to a mobile banking plan.
The Gates made their 2030 predictions for the sector, saying that digital wallets are indeed the future and the saviours of the unbanked population who face the challenges of making to little a money to do traditional banking.
To be financially included, these people would have to be encouraged and educated about the benefits of mobile banking as only through digital wallets will the poor have more control over their assets.
“Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives,” reads a post from the Gates. But to achieve a world where at least 2 billion of the unbanked are able to save on a mobile wallet and make mobile payments, countries will first have to make mobile phones more accessible.
In light of this, there is need for countries to review and revamp their laws so as to make it easier for more innovators to enter the market. It would also help if countries were to answer the call to cut mobile taxes to allow for the underprivileged to have access to a mobile device.