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Mobile, the main route to business in Kenya's hospitality sector

Kenya , 02 May 2017

Mobile, the main route to business in Kenya's hospitality sector

The use of mobile phones for receiving orders across Kenya's sectors is highest in accommodation and food service activities (89.9%), followed by arts, entertainment and recreation (85.7%) and then manufacturing activities (85.2%), according to the Enterprise ICT Survey 2016.

The survey, released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the Communication Authority, shows that more local enterprises are embracing mobile and the internet.

Of the 3530 enterprises interviewed, 77.3% used mobile phones to receive orders from customers.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing was at 54.4%, while financial and insurance industries were at 56.3%.

The reverse on placing orders still reflected wide industry adoption. "The use of mobile phones for placing orders was more common in small and medium than in large and micro enterprises. About three-quarters of small and medium-sized enterprises and 59.3 percent of the large enterprises placed orders using mobile phones," the report said.

Accommodation and food services stood at 82.3% in placing orders through mobile phone. Wholesale and retail trade came second at 79.2% and manufacturing was at 77.4%.

The report added, "On the other hand, the sectors that had lower proportions of enterprises placing orders using mobile phones were electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (42.9 percent), financial and insurance (47.6 percent), water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (50.0 per cent), Real estate (54.2 per cent) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (56.3 percent)."

With the high use of receiving and placing orders through the mobile phone, mobile payment also ranks high at 73.3% on average.

All enterprises, regardless of their size, have fully embraced mobile money payment according to the report.

The latest Safaricom half year report claims there were 50,000 merchants who were active on a 30-day basis as at end of September 2016. The overall M-Pesa transaction amount was Ksh 3.2 trillion (US$31 billion).

"Mobile payment accounts are used to receive payments but are not used to transfer money from one user to another, while mobile money platforms are used in the receiving and sending of money. The mobile payment accounts used by businesses are pay bill and till/ merchant numbers," it added.

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