Thursday, November 30, 2023

How Co-op Bank’s remote banking has been a boon for customers, small businesses

For the past 10 years, Kenya’s financial services sector has been experiencing disruptions. This has been accelerated over the last two years.

Unlike one decade ago when customers had to line up at the banking hall to get financial services, millions of customers have now adopted digital banking as their new default.

This has seen players in the financial markets rush to satisfy the emerging need for digital banking. Of these, though, one lender has been miles ahead in digitization of banking services.

“Through our digital channel strategy, the Bank has successfully moved 34 per cent of all customer transactions to alternative delivery channels, a 24-hour contact centre, mobile banking. 550 ATMs, internet banking and a wide network of Co-op kwa Jirani agents,” says Co-op Bank, the tier one bank that is in the top position in digital banking in the East African region.

This has not be in vain. For instance, according to Bitange Ndemo who is Kenya’s Ambassador to  Belgium and a former Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi’s Business School, the “financial services sector has seen the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) powered banking systems, digital lending apps and cryptocurrencies trying to close the financing gap in especially with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).”

There is heightened acceptance of internet-ready payment products as well as USSD-based delivery platforms that are faster, hassle-free and efficient.

In fact, current estimates from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows that more than two billion people will have digital bank accounts on cloud-based banking platforms by 2030.

A closer look at Co-op Bank reveals some interesting steps the lender has taken to transform its digital banking experience.

The lender has successfully migrated its customers to the Omni-channel, Integrating accessibility and user experience.

This omnichannel interfaces online banking through personal computers, mobile phones and USSD. This then avails all services to all customers through their preferred channel and yet retains the same experience from wherever they are.

“We are running a Universal Banking model and together with the implementation of Sales Force Effectiveness, the Group is serving over 9 million account holders across all sectors,” says Co-op Bank.

The bank says that its key focus on digital banking has been fruitful, with the all-telco Mco-op Cash Mobile Wallet continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of non-funded income with 3 million customers registered and loans worth Sh. 51.3 billion disbursed at an average of Sh. 5.7 billion per month.

Co-op Bank net profit rises 47 per cent to Sh. 17.1 billion in nine months

“In addition, over 165,000 customers have taken up the MSME packages that we rolled out in 2018, and 30,723 have been trained on business management skills. To date we have disbursed over Sh. 18.8 billion to micro, small and medium enterprises through our E-Credit solution,” the bank says.

“Our unique model of retail banking services through Sacco FOSAs enabled us provide wholesale financial services to over 479 FOSA outlets.”

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