Financial inclusion grows; FinAccess 2019 Household Survey
The Central Bank of Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) launched the Financial Access (FinAccess) Household Survey 2019.
The 2019 survey findings clearly show that Kenya’s financial inclusion landscape has transformed. Formal financial inclusion has risen to 82.9 percent, up from 26.7 percent in 2006, while complete exclusion has narrowed to 11.0 percent in 2019 from 41.3 percent in 2006. The disparities in financial access between rich and poor; men and women; as well as rural and urban areas have also declined remarkably. These changes have been attributed mainly to growth of mobile money, agency banking as well as widespread adoption of digital technology by financial sector players.
IRA regulated insurance i.e. private insurance, usage dropped to 5.5% in 2019 up from 6% in 2016. When combined with social insurance, i.e. NHIF, insurance usage increased to 27.9% in 2019 up from 23.2% in 2016. On the other hand, pension usage, exclusive of NSSF, was at 12.5% and 23.6% when Social Security is included. This is a marginal drop from 24.2% in 2016.
The survey showed that in 2019 affordability was the greatest impediment to low insurance uptake followed by lack of awareness in 2016. Despite the progress made so far, affordability and customer services issues remain barriers to formal service access. Many Kenyans have formal accounts, however these accounts/ services are not used to solve day-to-day problems for many households, mciro-enterprises and farmers. There remains considerable reliance on informal financial instruments.
Measurement of financial inclusion in Kenya commenced in 2006 through the creation of FinAccess surveys. Given the fast pace of financial sector development in Kenya, the FinAccess Survey constitutes an important tool for monitoring financial inclusion trends and dynamics, thus informing policy and industry on progress towards pro-poor and pro-growth financial sector development by both government and private sector.