How mobile banking is driving inclusivity

For the third year in a row, Kenya has topped Financial and Digital Inclusion Program scorecard in a survey of 26 countries. ZACHARY OCHUODHO sat with KCB head of digital finance, Eddie Ndichu (pictured). Below are excerpts.

QUESTION: What is state of mobile banking?

ANSWER: Mobile banking is growing everyday. Changing consumer habits and technological advances in banking has led people to appreciate and adopt the use of mobile banking platforms and the convenience that comes with it at a very fast rate.

Q: Why do you think mobile banking is trending worldwide?

A: Growing consumer sophistication and the speed at which customers can access their accounts has endeared people to mobile banking and less of website or branch visits. You can pay your bills, get a quick soft loan and save your money, all without visiting the branch.

Q: Kenya was named as the most financial inclusive country in the world, what role has KCB M-Pesa played in this?

A: Financial inclusion has been identified as a vital tool for poverty reduction. Kenya’s money market is considered the most mature in the world. This is driven by the widespread success of M-Pesa. Since KCB partnered with M-Pesa in 2015, more than 12 million people have been able to access fast unsecured loans.

Q: What makes KCB MyKash unique as compared to other mobile banking platforms?

A: What makes the banking platform unique is the fact that you can now pay directly from your bank account to a paybill or buy goods. You are also able to transact up to Sh1 million a day. A merchant can also buy float from the comfort of their premises without having to visit a branch.

Q: What are some of the challenges experienced by banks who have adopted mobile banking platforms?

A: One of the challenges we face is in the take up of the services. Far from reaching the unbanked, mobile banking services are largely targeting existing customers and even in this case take up rates have been low. These are challenges we take positively as we do understand that not everyone welcomes new ideas as fast, but we will continue pushing for use of mobile banking to new and existing customers and watch the take up rate grow.

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