35 percent of Kenyans have no savings and have no bank accounts because they have no money, and, therefore, nothing to save according to a survey by Financial Sector Deepening (FSD).
According to the survey, 15.5 percent of Kenyans do not have a regular income that can help them create and maintain a saving trend.
Despite numbers by the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showing that the economy of Kenya is growing above 6 percent, the situation is bad on the ground.
More than 20 million Kenyans are living below the “poverty line”, that is, living on less than one dollar a day as poverty levels continue to rise.
The unemployment rate in Kenya now stands at 43.5 percent with at least 4 in every 10 Kenyans being without a job. The employment absorption rate has been dropping over the years with the current one being below 2 percent.
According to FSD, the majority of Kenyans are unable to save because of lack of funds to save, inability to maintain a bank account, and lack of a regular income.
Kenyans in the rural areas cited distance from their residential areas to the nearest bank branch as a reason of not saving with banks.
For more than 10 years, Kenya has been voted as the best country in Africa for achieving financial inclusion thanks to the evolution of mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa, Airtel Money and T-Kash by Telkom Kenya.
Banks, on the other hand, have failed to achieve financial inclusion, especially in the rural areas for lack of enough branches and bank agents.
Kenyans seem to be moving away from traditional banking by the day. Traditional accounts dropped from 31.7 percent in 2016 to 29.6 percent in 2019. Mobile banking is taking over the banking sector, increasing from 17.5 percent in 2016 to 25.3 percent in 2019.