Kenya – February 14, 2019: The annual Mastercard Love Index indicates that Kenyans are willing to dig deeper into their pockets to make their partners happy and that they are going online to do it, there has been a 152% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions between 2016 and 2018.

The Index, which is created by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions over a three-year period (11th-14th February 2016-18) has revealed that whilst sentimental spending has increased globally by 3% since 2016, in Kenya, this has increased by a whopping 47%.

Though the global data showed a significant return to last-minute shopping with the majority (30%) of Valentine’s Day purchases taking place on the day itself (February 14th) in 2018, for Kenyans, planning ahead is more their style with the majority of the purchases taking place three days earlier (February 11th).

Global shoppers may be leaving their Valentine’s shopping until the last minute but that doesn’t mean they’re plumping for traditional, standard gifts, and neither are Kenyans.  The data shows just a small increase of 7% spent on roses and floral gifts and the amount spent on jewellery globally decreased by 8% in 2018 compared to 2016. This is comparative to Kenya where the number of transactions on flowers remained stable from 2016 and jewellery transactions decreased from 2016 to 2018.

Instead romantic shoppers from around the world are choosing to purchase gifts with closer links to their loved ones’ personal interests, revealed by a 41% increase in the value of purchases of books and records – let music be the food of love! Following the trend of experiences trumping material goods, an indulgent night in a hotel remains top of the Valentine’s gift list as the data reveals the number of transactions on hotels rose by 9% from 2016 to 2018, and with it a total spend increase of 5%. In comparison to the global numbers, the number of transactions in hotels in Kenya rose by 59% from 2016 to 2018, with a total spend increase of 57%.

Globally, the use of contactless technology continues to rise in momentum as the value of transactions rose by a huge 229%, and an increase of 193% in the number of transactions since 2016. It’s hardly surprising this is the preferred method of settling the bill – especially with contactless payments now enabled in over nine million locations across 114 countries. In Kenya, the share of contactless transactions increased by 100% since 2017 while the value of contactless transactions has seen an increase of 637% since 2017.

“In an age where contactless payments and same-day delivery ecommerce purchases are now the norm, it’s now easier than ever to impress our loved ones with meaningful Valentine’s surprises. Our data reveals that consumers across the globe are enjoying spontaneous experiences to share with their special someone, over and above material gifts, even when making their romantic purchases at the very last minute.

The Mastercard Valentine’s Day Index –  now in its fourth year – highlights key global and regional trends to uncover behavioral trends such as this shift towards on-the-day shopping, and hopefully offers retailers some priceless insight into consumer buying habits during the period leading up to the most romantic day of the year”, commented Adam Jones, Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard.

 

Regional summary of consumer e-commerce spending habits across the globe:

KEY SPENDING PATTERNS PER REGION DURING VALENTINE’S DAY PERIOD ACROSS 2016 – 2018
Kenya
  • Kenya saw a 152% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2016 to Valentine’s Day 2018
  • The number of transactions on hotels rose by 59% from 2016 to 2018, with it the value of transactions increasing by 57%. Overall spend and number of transactions on flowers remained stable from 2016.  Jewellery transactions decreased from 2016 to 2018, with spend decreasing by 4% since 2016
  • Spend related to transportation increased by 67% in 2018, accounting for 25% of total spend during the Valentine’s Day period.
  • The value of contactless transactions also increased by 637% since 2017
United States
  • U.S. saw a 98% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2016 to Valentine’s Day 2018
  • In 2018, people were planning ahead with the majority of Valentine’s purchases happening on the 11th February
Latin America and the Caribbean

 

 

 

  • Although LAC saw a 37% decrease in the total spend during the Valentine’s Day period, the number of transactions was up by 15%
  • In particular, the number of contactless transactions saw a significant 9720% increase, with the total spend on contactless increasing by 3452% (from $9.5k in 2016 to $399.1k in 2018)
  • Share of spend on restaurants decreased by 36%, but the volume of transactions increased by 19%
  • Share of spend on flowers and jewellery both saw significant decreases – by 88% and 68% respectively from 2016 to 2018
  • However, the number of transactions for hotel stays increased by 45%, with the value of transactions increasing by 12%
  • The number of e-commerce transactions increased by 68% from 2016 to 2018, and the value of these transactions increased by 70%
Europe

 

 

 

  •  Europeans spent 30% more in the Valentines period in 2018 than in 2016, with 41% more in volume of transactions
  • Experiences saw key growth, with the spend on hotels, restaurant trips and transportation increasing by 23%, 15% and 61% respectively
  • Although jewellery remained largely stable, with a 1% increase in spend and 7% increase in number of transactions, flowers were increasingly popular: 2018 saw 59% increase in spend and 54% increase in number of transactions from 2016 to 2018
Middle East

 

 

  • The Middle East and Africa increased sentimental spending by 10% from 2016 to 2018, with a 20% increase in the volume of transactions
  • Contactless in particular saw huge growth: an increase of 8991% in spend from 2016 to 2018, with 25663% increase in volume of transactions (from 32 in 2016 to 8,244 in 2018)
  • Spending on small gifts increased, with a 94% increase in the number of transactions for flowers and 33% increase in spend on cards and stationery
  • Similarly, spending on experiences – hotel trips and transportation – rose by 19% and 28% respectively
Asia Pacific

 

 

 

  • Asia Pacific increased sentimental spending by 33% in 2018 from 2016 and volume of transactions increased by 37%
  • Increases in both spend value and number of transactions were seen in all purchase categories, with the most significant increase made on flower purchases: 89% higher than spend value in 2016 and 73% more transactions
  • Transportation was also more popular with a 65% increase in the value of spend, and 25% more transactions
Canada
  • Canadians increased sentimental spending in the Valentine’s Day period by 23% from 2016 to 2018, but the number of transactions decreased by 3%
  • Contactless spend increased by 230%, from $3.2m in 2016 to $10.5m in 2018
  • Spending on small gifts increased, with a 67% increase in the value of transactions for flowers and 27% increase in spend on cards and stationery
  • E-commerce transactions increased by 96%, with the value of spend increasing by 99%

 

–ENDS–

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

 

Mastercard Communications Contact:

Sub-Saharan Africa Communications:

Toju Egbebi

Toju.egbebi@mastercard.com