Finance industry turns to branchless options to lower costs

Sep 15, 2011

Branchless banking initiatives are helping to bring down the cost of banking in Kenya and increase accessibility for the country's inhabitants.

Branchless banking initiatives are helping to bring down the cost of banking in Kenya and increase accessibility for the country's inhabitants.

This is according to Director of Consumer Banking at Barclays Bank Abdi Mohamed, who was quoted by Business Daily as saying advances in technology will "give the customer the convenience [they need] depending on where they are".

A growing network of ATM machines in Kenya is making it easier for customers issued with debit cards to access funds without having to travel to their nearest branch and figures from the Central Bank of Kenya show 262 more ATMs were installed in the country last year.

In addition, Mr Mohamed noted wave-and-pay contactless technology will enable smartphone owners to pay for goods and services directly from their handset.

However, other mobile banking services - such as Safaricom's M-Pesa - mean those with older devices can still transfer money, check balances and pay bills.

However, Mr Mohamed warned that customer education will be needed before new technology is widely adopted.

Branchless banking initiatives are being rolled out across the continent, with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor noting South African Bank FNB launched mobile money transfer servicePay2Cell and the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted operating licences to 11 mobile money firms.
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