It has been more than a month since CBA relaunched its Loop product. We highlighted the app’s new features in this introductory piece, but as a recap, users can now access mobile loans that are insanely popular in the local market right now. Also, CBA announced the revision of pay bill charges, with some costing Kes 0 such as the purchase of electricity tokens.
The folks at Loop further discussed the payment features of the app, which, according to the coverage, appeared to be similar to what some of us have been used to with other banking apps. To test the payments option, I traced my way back to the app and reopened my account (previous attempts were futile owing to a lengthy onboarding process that has since been fixed) to have a one-on-one interaction with the lauded features.
Loop has five buttons that also give a user a peek into the app’s feature. One of them is the Payments button where all payment methods live. You can send cash to mobile and bank. Mobile Loop to Loop transactions do not attract any fee, but those to mobile money services (Airtel Money and M-PESA) and PesaLink cost Kes 38.5 and 44 respectively, which is not any different from what others charge.
Sending money to from one Loop bank account to another is free (Finserve’s Equitel costs Kes 30). Transfers from a Loop account to a CBA account and PesaLink aren’t free, and recipients can withdraw cash immediately.
Transfers from Loop to EFT (electronic funds transfer) and RTGS (real time gross settlement) attract a Kes 60.5 fees. The recipient of the former can cash the funds in the next working day.
For bill payments, Loop has populated the app with top billers (Kenya Power, DSTV, GOTV and Nairobi water, among others). Most of these billers attract a Kes 44 transaction fee. What is more, transaction fees can be seen on the app for transparency purposes. While other apps display charges towards the end of a payment process, Loop’s approach gives us a heads-up before we can commit to clear out bills.
Another thing I noted is that purchasing Kenya Power tokens costs Kes 44, yet the service was said to be free of charge. We will follow it up and update this piece.
Loop will also favourite billers that you use often, and those who transact using M-PESA pay bills should not worry as the feature is integrated into the Payments option as well.
The ‘buy goods’ via M-PESA is here too and similar to the competition, it does not attract any fees. Even better, you do need to transfer funds from a Loop account to M-PESA to buy goods and services from Lipa Na M-PESA vendors.
Lastly, the debit orders options allow users to schedule frequent transfers, and Loop completes the transaction automatically.
Additional features such as the estimation of a user’s net worth (which is kind of a stretch in my opinion), budgeting and spending habits are part of the new features that guaranteed a relaunch of the product. I plan to actively use the product for a couple of more days in a bid to have a deeper understanding of how these features make my life better, and maybe I will be hooked and fully switch from my primary bank. A review will then come at a later date.