Editorial & ProductionJean-Luc AtelierOlusola DaCostaElizabeth Okereke
EditorAnne N. Agbakoba
Web www.numeris-media.comEmail [email protected]
ContactProvidence House (2nd Floor), Admiralty Way,Lekki Peninsula Phase 1, Lagos - Nigeria
Please give us a bit of a background on the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group - and what you think justifies its description as a leader in the banking industry.
KCBs leadership position goes far and beyond the numbers which say we are number one in assets, net loans and advances, customer deposits, total revenues, profit before tax, and branch network, to name the top metrics. Our leadership can be justified by the strides we have made in changing the landscape of banking in this market. KCB was the first bank to take an active role in taking banking across its borders and into the region. Today, with five regional businesses, we are well positioned to reduce the reliance on Kenyan businesses for the future growth of the Group. KCB has been the first in the market to introduce revolutionary products such as the check off loans which are, today, common place in the market, home loans and also the first bank to offer a full suite of mortgage products and related services. Our technology platform is unrivaled in this part ofthe world. Having implemented our core banking systemin 2008, our customers were the first to enjoy the truly one-branch-bank experience as we were able to offer seamless real time transactions in any of the 6 markets, irrespective of the origin of the customer. Further on the technology space, KCB was the pioneer of mobile banking, having introduced several phases of the product and including the first bank to enable account opening via mobile phone. Most recently, KCB has partnered with the largest telecommunications provider, Safaricom, on the first of three launches to introduce products that can be used by customers for both entities. This marks the beginning of a partnership that will increase access for banking customers to mobile products.
What, in your view, does KCBs network (bricks-and-mortar branch, and other channels) have to offer to the rural, local and international consumer in terms of anywhere, anytime banking?
KCB has over 235 branches across the region (6 countries) and over 8,000 agents. Going forward, the brick and mortar branches will be strategically opened and located. New branches will be specific to certain segments or areas of high population density and higher economic activity where presence today is either nonexistent or insufficient given the opportunity. Naturally, the number of new outlets will not grow rapidly but will be instead supported through a transition to alternative channels as described above. With technology enabling a wide range of services to be available via alternative channels, KCB will unlock the rural and international consumer through use of technology. Today, customers are conversant with the use of the mobile and agents and with these channels being both cheaper for the bank and customer, they will form the pillar for rural penetration. Agents offer extended hours (not anytime) beyond what conventional branches are able to do and are much closer to the customers residence or business premises. For anytime anywhere, the mobile is the best solution to
this. Mobile applications have enabled customers to perform all transactions at anytime and from any location. Internet banking also offers this full functionality but the penetration of Internet services is far below that of the mobile phone.
Just short of a year ago, there were headlines that you would be leading a quiet revolution in adopting technology and innovation to drive KCBs growth. Please expand on this, specifying developments and results in these areas.Revolution is a strong word, but KCB has heavily invested in technology and innovation to drive future growth. The bank has successfully rolled out new services and partnered with several large companies in the region to offer convenience, speed and cost effective services through the use of technology. Using the mobile platform, customers can open accounts, transfer funds to other accounts, other banks and other mobile phones, make utility
payments, borrow, and check account balances. Through agents, customers can open accounts, make
transfers to accounts, mobile and other accounts and banks. They can also make balances enquiries, and
increasingly, our agents wide network make them convenient locations for the collection
of funds for corporates. Our Internet banking service
ensures customers can perform a majority of their transactions, with necessary security procedures in place for the various institutions On the card business, KCB has partnerships on loyalty programme card distribution, transit card solutions, and various debit and credit cards. The outlook is for each of these initiatives to fast track the growth of non-funded income lines, grow
customer numbers by over 1 million, increase card use and penetration, and
double mobile utilisation by 1 million.
One of your recent tweets reads: Looking forward to our new
partnership this July for same day issuance of EMV cards as well as the move to
instant carding. What is this about?
The banking sector in Kenya and the region has migrated to a secure card which is EMV compliant. The migration necessitated the issuance of cards to all the existing 2.5 million customers. In the process, the bank entered into an engagement where the cards are now pre-ordered and only await customisation which can be done on site. This reduces the overall time customers have to wait for new or replacement cards.
In its strategic focus, KCB describes customer leadership as one of its five key pillars. What does this mean, and how has it translated for the everyday consumer?
Customer leadership is the backbone of the services industry. Research into our service levels revealed large gaps in customer experiences, not only within the sector but across the country.
KCB has since embarked on various initatives to remedy this:
A 24/7/365 customer experience centre that offersexisting and potential customers access to the bank and information that can improve overall experience. Queries about the bank, its products, services etc can be offered via phone, web chats, social media, one-on-one interaction and email. Further, for existing customers, complaints are now addressed faster and followed through to the end.
An electronicqueuemanagement system, introduced toour top25branches,andcontinuestoberolledouttothenext25bytheendof2014.This system enables customers at the branches to pick tickets and for them to be assigned a bank official to serve them in the shortest time possible, while they sit and wait. Thei has not only reduced customer wait times by more than half, but it has drastically improved teller productivity. Beyond service, customer leadership is also inbuilt into the products offered to customers and the convenience and cost of various channels. Being a front runner in channel variety, our customers have sufficient options as and when they decide to transact with KCB.
With customer sentiment being rather shaky across continents, combined with the entry of a few new players into the banking space, the last thing any financial institution wants to hear is bad news about their brand. That is why the battle cry Differentiate or Disappear has never been more relevant in the financial sector. A good example - in 2012, UK bank Barclays equipped more than 3,500 of its ATMs with audio instructions for those with sight difficulties. Closer to home (the African continent) we have Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), which, under the leadership of Joshua Oigara, has created a unique brand personality through constant innovation. The spin-off from KCB is this: the most successful brands anticipate the evolving needs and interests of their target markets, and use these to differentiate their customers experience, and engage. This is the subject of our Page 1 interview. On Page 3, Managing Director of South Africas MobiMedia, Deser Orrill, gives an insight into how, as smartphone penetration edges towards domination, brands are developing clever marketing campaigns that exploit the mobiles potential as a bridge between digital and physical experiences. Also on Page 3 and in what we believe is a first for any bank in Nigeria the United Bank for Africa (UBA Plc) recently added an innovative Twitter alert to its transaction banking platform. This will allow the bank provide personalised information security notices, balance information, transaction confirmations, or other account data to their clients. The Twitter alert service is an addition to SMS and email alerts, which have become fairly common in recent years. Well done to UBA for differentiating itself by delivering a service through yet another channel already familiar to consumers.
Joshua OigaraKCB Group Chief Executive
Deser OrrillManaging Director
MobiMedia, South Africa
From the EditorAnne Agbakoba
United Bank of Africa Plc
Its very interesting going through tweets about Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). On the 27th of February, CEO of Safaricom Kenya, Bob Collymore tweeted: Congratulations to @JoshuaOigara and his @KCBGroup team for delivering a very impressive set of results. Shows the benefits of innovation. Hinting again at KCBs modus operandi, another witty but telling tweet by #DearDoris @arungaian (May 12, 2014) said: @KCBGroup your mobile banking service is impossibly fast Please make it slower so that we do not