A month after launching its KCB M-pesa account in partnership with Telco Safaricom, KCB has been able to issue out loans totaling to Shs. 1 billion. The service has in the same period registered 1.5 Million users and taken customers deposits of Shs. 100 Million. This was announced during an investor briefing where the company announced its first quarter 2015 financial results. The banking group grew its profit before tax for its first quarter 2015 to KShs. 6.2Billion representing a 12% growth.
The KCB-Mpesa account allows customers to get loans using their mobile phones with repayment periods ranging from one month to six months at interest rates from as low as 2 per cent per month. Customers can also save using the account with two options of a fixed deposit account and a target savings account available.
Of the 1.5 Million customers, 75% are active customers with 50% of them aged below 30 years. KCB Group Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Oigara said the company sees the account as a tool to deepen financial inclusion. “We see the partnership with Safaricom as a game-changer in the financial services sector. For us, such partnerships are meant to make financial services more accessible to the general population,” he added. KCB is also seeking to leverage the power of technology to grow its business.
The company is focusing on creation of innovative technology products through partnerships and consolidation of its available technologies to achieve this goal. KCB also has other products with Safaricom that include Biashara Smart and M-Benki. KCB also runs Pepea card, a payment card service used widely in transportation and offline payments.To increase its foothold in offline payments, KCB plans to capitalize on its vast distribution network that consists of 16,000 and growing point of sale terminals.
In the coming months, KCB plans to deepen its investment in the digital payments platform as Kenya and the East African region increasingly move into a cashlite economy. KCB has rolled out a programme aimed at facilitating the collection of taxes across Kenya’s 47 counties. The Bank also has a strategic agreement with the Kenyan government to aid the disbursement of over KShs. 30Billion under the social protection programme for the aged, poor and disabled using a biometric card dubbed Inua Jamii.
To achieve its goal of convergence especially with digital payments, mobile money services and offline payments, KCB is working on integrating its API with services such as M-pesa, merchant services which will seamlessly allow a user to move their money between their accounts, make direct payments and ultimately grow it into an ecosystem.