, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – The NIC Bank Group has partnered with Postbank to roll out agency banking services as part of an aggressive diversification program.
NIC Bank Group Managing Director James Macharia said the partnership will allow customers to be able to use Postbank’s network of 97 branches nationwide, to access NIC Bank services like cash deposits and withdrawals.
“Geographic diversification is one of the pillars of our growth strategy with the overall objective of achieving significant and sustainable earnings in each business line in the medium and long term,” he emphasised.
He acknowledged that the partnership will allow both banks to have one of the widest reaching and most secure networks in agency banking, while saving each institution millions of shillings.
“Currently, it is very difficult to establish branches across the country and because Postbank has already established infrastructure amounting to 97 branches across Kenya, we are basically taking advantage and leveraging on their network,” he said.
“Today, because of inflation, setting up a branch costs about Sh40 million so if we were to set up an additional 100 branches it would be prohibitive,” he explained.
Postbank Managing Director Nyambura Koigi said the partnership will allow for more Kenyans in rural areas to gain access to quality banking.
“In an effort to take banking services closer to the un-banked and under-banked Kenyans, Postbank has rolled out a banking model using agents, which we call ‘Postbank Mashinani’,” she revealed.
“This has enabled customers in the rural areas access a wide range of banking services at their doorstep and hence increased convenience, customer loyalty and satisfaction,” she said.
Macharia stressed that the main objective of the partnership is to enrich the customer experience and he said they are improving NIC Mobile and Online Banking by enhancing service features such as M-Pesa connectivity in both channels.
“An NIC Bank customer in Wajir where Postbank may have a branch will be able to go to those offices in their area to do their banking instead of flying to Nairobi or sending their money through mail,” he said.
“The key objectives of this project is to enrich the customer experience of NIC being a “One-Stop Shop”, to avail the same high standards of service quality while ensuring increased operational efficiency with substantial cost savings,” he added.
NIC bank is in the process of implementing a new core banking system provided by the Swiss banking software systems provider Temenos Group, which will be rolled out in all banking subsidiaries of the group by June.
Macharia revealed that they plan to open a new branch in Kampala, Uganda this year and Koigi confirmed that Postbank will have five more branches in Kenya operational by the end of April.