In March 2015, KCB and Telco Safaricom partnered to launch the KCB M-pesa account, a facility aimed at increasing financial inclusion through savings as well as issuing loans through Safaricom’s mobile money service M-pesa. The KCB-Mpesa account allows customers to get loans using their mobile phones with repayment periods ranging from one month to six months. Customers can also save using the account with two options of a fixed deposit account and a savings account available. The move by KCB was meant to give the bank an edge in the mobile lending space which was harboured via KCB Mobi.
KCB announced its Q3 financial results for the period ended 30th September 2016. The bank saw its Profit before tax grow to Shs. 22.9Billion from KShs. 19.3Billion in a similar period last year marking an 18.3% growth. The results also highlighted the continued growth of its digital channels including KCB M-Pesa account. The number of users currently on mobile phone stands at 10.2Million, while the number of mobile accounts grew by 98% from 4.3Milion in Quarter 3, 2015 to 8.3Million in a similar period this year. The registered customers on mobile make up over 75% of the total customer base in the Bank. The bank has also over the last 18 months disbursed Kshs. 17 Billion via these digital channels.
The bank has embarked on an ambitious plan to establish a FinTech business that with the view of centralising the bank’s digital platform. The bank recently announced it was looking to partner with Facebook, Apple, Alibaba Group, PayPal, Samsung Electronics and Twitter in the creation of a new digital payments platform. The Bank has set an ambitious target of growing the number of customers on its digital platform to 20 Million by 2017 which is achievable given these developments. At the same time, the bank has been working to improve its infrastructure to handle more transactions owing to a surge in demand for loans following the new law on interest rates. The KCB Fintech unit will begin operations in June 2017.