A report by Visa has shown that Kenya is among the top market contributors to eCommerce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the last 3 years.

The report titled eCommerce Developments Across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), confirmed that the Kenyan eCommerce sector has showcased growth, as the market’s financial access is largely driven by Mobile Money.

Lineshree Moodley, Head of Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA) in Sub-Saharan Africa said, “The three leading markets in SSA are starting to mature, providing the region with an established foundation and, when twinned with the growing penetration of eCommerce, it offers players in the payment space an opportunity they can capitalize on while helping to further accelerate the expansion of eCommerce in the region,” said Moodley.

Key highlights from the research in Sub Saharan Africa include the following.

  • Cross-border transactions make up half of all ecommerce transaction volumes.
  • eCommerce is driven by retail goods and professional services.
  • Mobile phones are the main source of digital access.
  • Payment facilitators are a critical catalyst for digital payments.

In Kenya, the merchant categories driving eCommerce are professional and education services. This is attributed to the fact that the ability to access financial services, digital payment channels and digital infrastructure are starting to take hold across SSA.

Additionally, the use of cards has increased across the continent, with the highest uptick taking place in Kenya. There has also been a strong preference for contactless payments, with a notable point for enabling safe card payments on delivery.

Commenting on the report, Corine Mbiaketcha, Vice President and Country Manager East Africa at Visa, said, “Customers in SSA are making use of a wide range of digital payment instruments, so it is becoming increasingly important that eCommerce offers multi and even omni-channel experiences. At Visa we continue to work with traditional and new financial services companies to develop new products and capabilities that deliver on this.”

As domestic eCommerce provision in SSA continues to grow, there is an exciting opportunity for SSA to develop its own regional eCommerce platforms and sustain growth.