Safaricom, partnering with mSurvey, has launched Consumer Wallet, a mobile platform which quantifies offline consumer spending trends and behavior. The move is intended to encourage the use of real-time data collection methods over traditional ones, which are outdated and time consuming to assess Kenya’s cash economy.
Piloting of the product’s beta version was carried out in March 2017 with corporate partners such as McKinsey Consulting firm. The platform harnesses messaging services and data drawn from Safaricom’s subscribers to assess cash-based spending, which is then fed into the applications database and evaluations done on the expenditures and preferences on a wide range of items.
Projections show that by 2010, the number of Kenyan consumers will be at around 40 million, where 35% of these will be from the informal sector. This means that 3 in every five people from both urban and rural areas do informal jobs. Data concerning such consumers is rarely available, according to McKinsey, which makes businesses face the challenges of generating insights which are consumer-specific. Consumer Wallet, therefore, gives businesses a walk-around on current informational gaps, thus allowing them to diversify based on information on consumer preferences and expenditure. In addition, the platform also allows businesses to project competition trends in their individual sectors.
“Consumer Wallet addresses a pressing business challenge by providing real-time collection, assessment, and analysis of data. With the world currently undergoing an information revolution, it is essential that businesses in Kenya have the tools that offer the same advantages as those in Silicon Valley,” Safaricom’s Director of Consumer Business, Sylvia Mulinge said.
The Consumer Wallet uses daily text messages to capture information to track cash-based expenditure on Safaricom. Expenses and preferences are based on transport, food, housing and education, among others. The product will be available on a license and subscription basis.
The platform will empower businesses with statistics to help in the making of strategic decisions by understanding the needs of their customers. It is crucial that businesses invest in customer evaluation to ensure that that they can tailor consumer-specific services or products.
The Consumer Wallet is the latest addition to the list of services which Safaricom Business has recently launched. Connected Farmer , Easy Bundles, Fibre for Business and Ready Business, are among other propositions which focus on Small and Medium Enterprises. The latter incorporates other advisory and technology services to help entrepreneurs cope with challenges of the dynamic business sector.