SafariCom and mSurvey launch first cash economy research platform in Africa

2738004495 c115af3d70 oSafariCom and mSurvey launch first cash economy research platform in Africa. (Image source: Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr)Leveraging mSurvey’s mobile research platform, first-of-its-kind data feed tracks Kenya’s cash economy; quantifies offline consumer spending habits and trends

Safaricom, a leading communications company in Kenya and mSurvey, the only global mobile-first research platform leveraging SMS and mobile messaging technology to simplify access to credible, on-demand data from the emerging world, have launched Consumer Wallet, a groundbreaking platform that quantifies offline consumer spending habits and trends. Currently, in beta, Consumer Wallet is a first-of-it-kind live and dynamic data feed that leverages mSurvey’s mobile messaging platform to track and measure Kenya’s cash economy over time, providing businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in the country unprecedented insight into the spending habits of the offline consumer.

While Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-PESA service, a solution that allows consumers to pay for goods and services daily through their phones, has revolutionised the way Kenya does business, there remains a significant portion of the economy that is cash dependent. These invisible, hard-to-quantify transactions make it difficult for local and multinational businesses, entrepreneurs and investors to understand consumers and offline shopping habits and trends and develop products that would be of value them. 

mSurvey’s mobile research platform allows the two companies to have scalable and measurable conversations with individual consumers on a daily basis. To analyse the flow of cash in real-time, simple questions about spending behavior are sent as chats to the mobile phones of millions of consumers, resulting in a dynamic, visualised and nuanced data stream that provides businesses, entrepreneurs and investors instant insight into offline consumer spending habits in Kenya and a comprehensive measurement of their ‘share of wallet.’

“To invest in Africa, you have to understand its consumers,” said Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom. “The in-depth, high-integrity data we are unlocking with this new Consumer Wallet platform is extremely valuable and helps us and other businesses and institutions around the globe make better decisions, relate to consumers, identify opportunities, navigate the terrain and fuel growth and transformation. Traditionally it would take extensive in-person questionnaires or physical diaries to scratch the surface of this kind of data, a method that is cumbersome, expensive and subject to low response rates and human error.”

mSurvey’s simple and sophisticated mobile-first research platform makes the Consumer Wallet highly scalable. By integrating with representatives of numerous industries in Kenya – from fast moving consumer goods and retail to financial services, healthcare and agriculture – mSurvey and Safaricom will continue to evolve the data feed over time to include sector-specific insights and takeaways. Users can also use mSurvey’s platform for customized, tailored research of their own to overlay insights and data. The Consumer Wallet is in live beta in Kenya, with plans to scale across the continent and other emerging markets. 

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