Safaricom And mSurvey Launch Consumer Wallet To Map Kenya’s Cash Economy


In the past decade, there have been very many emerging and changing trends in consumer behaviors which are mostly influenced by lifestyle changes and fluctuations in the economy. A good example of this is how information on consumer behaviors in 2000 are completely outdated in 2017.

A better understanding of social impact of trends, a clearer understanding of what consumers want and how to redefine customer experience is crucial in understanding the information revolution and that’s exactly what the Consumer Wallet intends to do.

Safaricom has partnered with mSurvey to launch Consumer Wallet, a versatile mobile platform that quantifies offline consumer spending habits and trends. The solution leverages mSurvey’s mobile messaging platform to measure and benchmark Kenya’s cash economy.

The beta version of the product was piloted in March 2017 with potential clients and corporate partners. mSurvey leverages SMS to measure the cash based spending drawn from Safaricom’s mobile subscribers. The data is then fed into the Consumer Wallet database benchmarking preferences and expenditures of various items.

Majority of the country’s consumer spending happens at informal businesses, which presents an information gap for businesses looking to explore business opportunities in the sector. Consumer Wallet plugs this gap by providing unprecedented insight into the spending habits of such “offline” consumers.

Since gathering information about your intended target marketing is time consuming, expensive and inconclusive on matters like how to hypothesize trends in spending behaviors, the survey intends to answer questions like:

  1. How do consumers spend? This will in turn share the monthly average amount spent per person and the method of payment used.
  2. Who is your real competition? This is answered with the purchase frequency in each of the 11 categories given in the questionnaire and the proportion of wallet share spent.
  3. How does this change over time? Data shared in real time as a trend over time.

Director of Consumer Business, Safaricom, Sylvia Mulinge said that the Consumer Wallet addresses a pressing business challenge by providing real time collection, assessment and analysis of data that would give businesses in Kenya a similar set of advantages to businesses in Silicon Valley.

Speaking to Safaricom Senior Manager Research and Insights Paul Omondi, the Consumer Wallet will empower businesses with the requisite insights to arrive at more calculated & strategic decisions, giving business owners, entrepreneurs and companies a deeper understanding of consumer needs.

The survey, which engages willing participants, on average takes 7 minutes to complete. It takes in real-life information from daily text messages the participants drawn from Safaricom subscribers and will capture information on preferences and expenditures ranging from transport, food products, housing etc. in trying to understand the dynamic consumer, some of the questions asked include:

  1. What did you buy yesterday?
  2. How much did you spend?
  3. How did you pay?

In turn, Consumer wallet seeks to bridge the information gap that most businesses in Kenya’s robust informal sector faces in order to empower these businesses by providing the much-needed unprecedented insight.

The service will be available on both a subscription and license basis.

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