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Banks need to leverage their superior product knowledge to stay relevant

The industry has to look beyond growing their market presence through traditional brick-and-mortar branches by exploring new channels like mobile banking and agency collaborations.

February 15, 2016 | Farrah Brake

East Africa’s retail banking industry is growing at a rapid pace with banks using technology to target customer segments that were once too costly to serve due to remote locations which would require an extensive branch network. Non-traditional competitors have grown significantly in the marketplace providing services traditionally exclusive to banks. Banking services are overshadowed by the ever-growing presence of payments solutions companies and mobile operators providing low-cost alternatives. These developments require a stronger infrastructure and more comprehensive regulations than currently exist, in order for the industry to be sustainable over the long run.

Leveraging the right channels
Banks in East Africa have only recently started to see a large portion of their revenues come from the retail banking space with the arrival of alternative channels such as internet, mobile and agency banking. With this development, financial services quickly expanded with a number of new local banks focusing on the microfinance segments looking at emphasising branding to grow their physical footprint across the country. However, the new capital requirement of KES5 billion ($49 million) is likely to lead to a number of mergers in the industry as banks look to gain market share.

For markets in East Africa, infrastructure plays an important role in product development. It is the main reason internet banking is not as prevalent, though mobile banking presents opportunities. One example is the emergence of M-PESA which transformed the banking industry through pin-secured SMS messaging where customers can deposit or withdraw cash through a number of banking agents. As technological solutions gain traction in bringing down the barriers to market, banks must focus on the evolving customer-oriented culture and push the envelope of innovation in customer service. While banks seek to boost their market presence in the unbanked regions of Ea...

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Categories:

Retail Banking, Technology & Operations

Keywords:East Africa, M-PESA, Mobile Banking, Technology, Financial Services


Banks need to leverage their superior product knowledge to stay relevant

The industry has to look beyond growing their market presence through traditional brick-and-mortar branches by exploring new channels like mobile banking and agency collaborations.

February 15, 2016 | Farrah Brake

East Africa’s retail banking industry is growing at a rapid pace with banks using technology to target customer segments that were once too costly to serve due to remote locations which would require an extensive branch network. Non-traditional competitors have grown significantly in the marketplace providing services traditionally exclusive to banks. Banking services are overshadowed by the ever-growing presence of payments solutions companies and mobile operators providing low-cost alternatives. These developments require a stronger infrastructure and more comprehensive regulations than currently exist, in order for the industry to be sustainable over the long run.

Leveraging the right channels
Banks in East Africa have only recently started to see a large portion of their revenues come from the retail banking space with the arrival of alternative channels such as internet, mobile and agency banking. With this development, financial services quickly expanded with a number of new local banks focusing on the microfinance segments looking at emphasising branding to grow their physical footprint across the country. However, the new capital requirement of KES5 billion ($49 million) is likely to lead to a number of mergers in the industry as banks look to gain market share.

For markets in East Africa, infrastructure plays an important role in product development. It is the main reason internet banking is not as prevalent, though mobile banking presents opportunities. One example is the emergence of M-PESA which transformed the banking industry through pin-secured SMS messaging where customers can deposit or withdraw cash through a number of banking agents. As technological solutions gain traction in bringing down the barriers to market, banks must focus on the evolving customer-oriented culture and push the envelope of innovation in customer service. While banks seek to boost their market presence in the unbanked regions of Ea...

Please login to read the complete article. If you already have an account, you can login now or subscribe/register.

Categories:

Retail Banking, Technology & Operations

Keywords:East Africa, M-PESA, Mobile Banking, Technology, Financial Services


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