The Central Bank of Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) have launched the Financial Access (FinAccess) Household Survey 2019.
The 2019 Survey seeks to improve on this track record by providing information beyond the conventional measures of access and usage. It provides new information on the quality and impact dimensions, examining financial health and livelihoods, consumer protection, financial literacy in addition to probing more deeply on the frequency of usage. The survey also includes independent business and agriculture modules to better understand usage of financial products and services within these livelihoods, crucial for the development of an all-inclusive financial ecosystem for all Kenyans.
Measurement of financial inclusion in Kenya commenced in 2006 through the creation of FinAccess surveys implemented over the years by the Central Bank Kenya (CBK), Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya. 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. Both the Central Bank of Kenya and The National Treasury and Planning have relied on FinAccess data to inform the development of policies that support inclusion. These include agency banking and national payments regulations as well as initiatives to improve transparency in the sector. Data generated from these surveys is also widely used by the private sector, development partners and researchers.
The 2019 survey findings clearly show that Kenya’s financial inclusion landscape has undergone a transformation since 2006. 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 from 41.3 percent in 2006. The disparities in financial access between rich and poor, men and women, and rural and urban areas have also declined remarkably. Key drivers of these changes include: the growth of mobile money, government initiatives and support, and developments in information and communications technology (ICT).
The significant reduction in the proportion of the adult population totally excluded from financial services and products vindicates the policies, strategies and reforms undertaken by the government as well as the widespread adoption of digital technology and innovations by financial sector players. These have helped in deepening financial inclusion by enabling the population to overcome infrastructural constraints to access especially in rural areas.