Debit card spending in Kenya has grown 83%
year on year according to the latest figures from the Central Bank
of Kenya (CBK) reaching KES386 bn  (USD4.6 bn).

The values of card transactions and m-payments
in Kenya increased by 65% and 41% respectively in the first half of
2012 on the same period last year.

Statistics from the CBK also show cards are
used more to make payments at points of sale, rather than to
withdraw cash at ATMs.  The value of in-store transactions was
up by 82%, in contrast with a modest increase of 12%  for ATM

Jonathan Ciano, chief executive of Uchumi
Supermarkets, the country only publicly traded retailer, confirmed
a surge in the use of debit cards and observed a change in
customers shopping habits. “People may be buying smaller baskets
but more often. They are also moving away from carrying cash and
there is more confidence in virtual systems,” he told the Kenyan
paper Business Daily.

Prepaid cards registered a 9% decrease in
transaction value. But mobile money transfer continued to grow,
confirming the positive trend of a country which leads the
expansion of m-payment in Sub Saharan Africa.

The total amount of  money transferred
with mobile overcame KES726 bn (USD8.6 bn) in the first half of
2012, up by 41% in comparison with the same period last
year, with a 40% increase in the number of transactions.