The Human Account is led, created and developed by Dalberg with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Local partners are Lagos Business School in Nigeria, Ashoka University in India, not-for-profit development finance company, Karandaaz in Pakistan, and research and advisory firm, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Kenya.

KENYA

Educated

Elites

confident, connected, planners

22% of adult population  |  6.5 million people

 

Educated Elites are generally higher-income, rural, married men. The best educated segment in Kenya overall, they have jobs or are self-employed, and make decisions for their household. They are frequent users of technology for both social and financial purposes. Every Educated Elite has a mobile money account, and they use these accounts heavily, as very frequent savers. This gives them confidence in their ability to deal with both expected and emergency expenses. They trust banks more than people, but shy away from borrowing from formal financial institutions — likely for fear of losing their collateral.

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

INCOME

self-employed

40%

N/A

formally employed

37%

N/A

EDUCATION

secondary

70%

44%

tertiary education

15%

6%

PHONE

own smartphone

17%

19%

feature phone

45%

52%

LAND

personally own land

47%

41%

commonly own

29%

45%

GENDER (MALE)

70%

47%

AGE (25-34)

46%

31%

GEOGRAPHY (RURAL)

65%

77%

SOCIOECONOMIC

70%

SES 4-5

FORMAL ACCOUNT

OWNERSHIP

80%

38%

INFORMAL

FINANCIAL USAGE

38%

42%

MOBILE WALLET

OWNERSHIP

100%

88%

TECH USE

(HIGHEST FREQUENCY)

90%

58%

 

WHO ARE THEY? 

Demographics

“In my heart, I want to help someone. But I won't help

someone if they're not genuine, If they're drunk or if they cannot pay debt. You cannot help someone if they're not hard working.”

NYONGESA

SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES)

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Demographics

 

Educated Elites are mostly higher-income, rural, married men with jobs or self-employed. They likely make the financial decisions for their household on share those decision rights with a few others. Educated Elites are relatively young, but not the youngest segment in Kenya. As their name suggests, they are also the wealthiest and  are highly likely to have at least secondary education, and most likely to have ar tertiary education as well.

Social Network

Educated Elites talk to a wide selection of people on the phone, but they rely on themselves to cope with emergencies — drawing on their strong savings behavior. They have a limited number of people to draw on while sick, but likely look to their social network for things other than social support.

RESILIENCE: SOURCES OF MONEY IN AN EMERGENCY

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

WHAT DO THEY WANT?

Aspirations

Educated Elites look to a good future, and invest and save in pursuit of that. They look to invest in themselves: they would put the largest share of a windfall towards investment, likely not feeling the need to have so much of the money to hand and so looking to use it for that better future. They would save the next largest proportion, and slightly more than average, in a bank. They see less need to share with friends and family — perhaps this being already part of their everyday behavior. They would keep only a small proportion as cash, meanwhile — reflecting, again, a feeling of relative comfort from their income and planning behavior.

 
 

HOW DO THEY MANAGE MONEY?

Financial Behavior

“Money is valuable only if it helps you,

if it does something that I can see tomorrow.”

NYONGESA

Financial Behavior Overview

Educated Elites exhibit strong financial behavior across different aspects of financial health. They score above average on every measure, and are particularly confident in their approach to planning and their ability to pay future expenses. Every Educated Elite owns a mobile wallet. They are enthusiastic users, frequently sending, receiving, and saving money through this channel. In addition, four out of five have an account with a formal finance institution and many save there frequently. Nearly two-fifths hold an informal account. Across all channels, they save much more frequently than they borrow.

BEHAVIORAL INDEX
FINANCIAL ACCESS

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Financial Access

Every Educated Elite owns a mobile wallet, and they are enthusiastic users of them – sending and receiving money often, and saving frequently. They are also very likely to own an account with a formal finance institution, with four in five doing so, and saving there frequently as well. They rely less on informal accounts, but still nearly four in ten use them. Across channels, they save much more frequently than they borrow.

Financial Priorities

Educated Elites are confident about a good future, and invest and save in pursuit of their goals. As providers for their family and perhaps their community, they see less need to direct a windfall towards supporting them, and with their savings and income have less need to reserve a windfall for future expenses.

HOW WINDFALL IS PRIORITIZED

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

MAKES A PLAN AND FOLLOWS THROUGH

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Financial Plans

Educated Elites are notably strong planners, even among Kenyans who see themselves as strong planners overall. This extends to their expense planning, supporting their central decision-making position in the household.

Shaping Income and Expenses

Educated Elites generally have stable incomes, which combined with their strong planning and expense management, makes them confident in their ability to cover both everyday expenses as well as emergencies. Their income comes primarily from non-farming activities which insulates them from the volatility other Kenyans frequently face.

INCOME VOLATILITY

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

SAVINGS CHANNELS

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Building Reserves

Educated Elites are frequent savers, generally saving at least monthly, with most using multiple channels as part of their financial management. They are notably active users of formal financial institutions, but mobile money is their primary savings channel, as with most Kenyans. They save somewhat frequently at home, with informal saving their least used channel.

Cultivating Receivables 

Educated Elites cultivate receivables adeptly through financial tools, using a wider variety of credit channels than the national average, to borrow somewhat frequently – mostly monthly or quarterly. They use both mobile money and family as their key borrowing channels, though borrow more frequently when they use mobile money. Their use of formal financial channels for borrowing is relatively low, especially compared to their heavier use of  saving, suggesting these institutions do not have credit products that meet their needs and preferences. This is likely driven by the collateral requirements for such products.

SOURCES OF BORROWING

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

PHONE USAGE

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Technology Usage

Educated Elites are heavy users of technology, with high smartphone ownership and usage rates — both voice and data. They are the most frequent users of social media as well.

 

HOW DO THEY THINK?

Psychology

"First priority is to pay when you borrow from someone else,

to win their trust. You don’t want to be in a situation where

nobody's willing to lend to you. Trust is everything."

NYONGESA

Self-perception

Educated Elites believe in their own control over their success. Higher earners than most Kenyans, they are both very satisfied with their progress in the past five years and look ahead with confidence to the future. They have low self-esteem overall but still the highest among Kenyans, while being quite split on their level of self-efficacy.

LOCUS OF CONTROL

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

IMPULSIVE SPENDING

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Conscientiousness and Openness

Educated Elites are conscientious and comparatively open for Kenyans, while their level of impulsive spending is low overall – as may be expected from their strong planning-orientation and deliberate approach to decision-making. Their relative wealth may give them the opportunity to plan more effectively, leading to a strong approach to saving in particular.

Attitude Towards Savings

Educated Elites’ psychometrics help to explain their strong savings behavior. They are more deliberate than most Kenyans. They see saving as important in its own right and believe they have both the money to save, and that ability to keep their savings safe.

SAVINGS DELIBERATENESS

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

COMFORT WITH DEBT

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Attitude Towards Debt

While Educated Elites are quite frequent borrowers, they have low overall comfort with debt – perhaps feeling they have more to lose, given their relative wealth. Their low dependability is nevertheless higher than Kenyans as a whole, also suggesting a reticence to enter an agreement that they may not be able to fulfil.

Trust in People

Educated Elites are not particularly trusting in people but are more trusting than Kenyans on average. This is reflected in their limited trust in people overall, their likelihood not to trust strangers, and their mixed level of trust in lending to their community, which likely reduces their willingness to engage with informal borrowing channels. They are however slightly more likely to believe their community will invest in their future, than not. Their view of the equality of their community is somewhat mixed.

BELIEF IN COMMUNITY'S WILLINGNESS TO SUPPORT

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

TRUST IN BANKS

Educated Elites

Kenya Average

Trust in Banks

Educated Elites trust banks, which is reflected in their higher level of account ownership and frequent savings behavior with formal financial institutions – though this does not overcome their nervousness around borrowing from institutions that may demand collateral. Their belief in respect for authority is also relatively high, again indicating their orientation to trust institutions rather than community members.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES & OPPORTUNITIES

How might we help Educated Elites make better use

of credit products to further invest in their futures?

 
 

USER PROFILE

 

Nyongesa

"Where we live, life is not an island. If they make it,

I make it. We learn from each other. We learn from other people who are doing well."

 

 

Nyongesa lives on a tea plantation in Limuru where he has 6 children with his wife. He has a college degree, and for the past 12 years he has managed 70 tea pickers on behalf of the tea company that owns the plantation. The company pays him a good monthly salary, which he compliments with earnings from livestock, as well as an active participation in the financial life of his community.

USER INSIGHTS & OPPORTUNITIES

Money Must Always Be
Working for You

Nyongesa thinks of the world in terms of earnings, not reserves. He sees money in his savings account as a loss. A cow whose milk and calves aren’t sold is underutilized and could be shoring up his children’s education. Extra money leftover in his deposit account and not at work in a sacco could be earning both interest as well as good will in the community, for him and his children after him. Failure to pursue new investment opportunities could mean a shortfall when a health emergency strikes. If Nyongesa must see a way to a clear, tangible benefit, regardless of near-term or further into the future. His investments have focus and intention and his efforts are productive and fruitful.

 

Products that don’t demonstrate how they create clear future advantage aren’t worth taking up.

Communities Are Central
to Creating Value

 

Nyongesa  isn’t content to keep his own counsel. He is an evangelist for working hard and affirming the hard work of others; of sharing advice and investment opportunity freely and widely; of making the sacco a part of the fabric of the village. Any good thing worth doing is made better, stronger, more resilient and productive by the full participation of those around him. Without ego, he readily names the sources of his best strategies — from his boss to his friend to his neighbor to his children.

 

Nyongesa’s favorite financial instruments and services are those that bind and grow his community together. He sees an obvious compounded benefit in which all share, and through which all grow stronger.