By O’Brien Kimani
Eight out of ten Kenyans have access to formal financial sector according to a report by Financial Sector Deepening.
The report says that more men are included in the mainstream financial sector than women. The northern parts of Kenya have poorer than average access to financial services where over half are excluded, meaning they have no access to formal financial services whatsoever.
In the last ten years, Kenya has made major strides in expanding financial services especially with the use of technology.
Kenya is now considered a pioneer and a case study in the mobile money transfer services like Mpesa and Mshwari that have leapfrogged the number of people who access financial services.
A report indicates that more than 83 percent of Kenyans have access to formal financial services up from 68 percent in the year 2013.
FSD Kenya Director, David Ferrand says these results provide the first ever ten-year perspective on the financial inclusion landscape.
The report says though Kenya has made significant steps in availing financial inclusion to the public, more still needs to be done to address the 17 percent who do not have access to formal financial services.
According to the 2016 data, women still have significantly reduced access to formal services such as banks. The report says in Kenya 34.6% of women use banks, compared to 50.3% of men.
The North-Eastern region of Kenya has poorer than average access, in particular where over half or 52.2% are excluded, meaning they have no access to formal financial services whatsoever. Nairobi, Central and Mombasa and Nakuru counties have the highest number of people who access financial services.