Samsung, KWFT pact to boost mobile banking

Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader Robert Ngeru (left) engages Kenya Women Finance Trust Chairperson Dr Elizabeth Mary Okello and KWFT Managing Director Mwangi Githaiga (Right)/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Samsung has partnered with local microfinance solutions provider, Kenya Women Finance Trust – Deposit Taking Microfinance (KWFT-DTM) to promote the uptake of mobile technology solutions among women.

The joint programme by KWFT-DTM and Samsung is geared at bridging the digital divide and facilitating mobile banking solutions for millions of unbanked women in Kenya.

To kick off the partnership, the two firms have pledged to target the provision of mobile banking services to more than 600,000 women account holders at KWFT-DTM.

Samsung Electronics East Africa (SEEA) Business Leader Robert Ngeru explained that the firm will provide Samsung phones for onward lending to KWFT-DTM account holders to boost the recently launched KWFT Mobile banking product uptake.

He disclosed that Samsung will also provide a platform for local Mobile Application Architects to develop suitable mobile banking products to be hosted on the Samsung Apps store, which will be customised to meet local demands including language considerations.

KWFT-DTM Board Chairperson Mary Okelo termed the M-banking service a great milestone since in the past, clients have had to travel long distances to access financial services.

With the new partnership, KWFT DTM Managing Director Mwangi Githaiga, confirmed that the deposit taking micro finance institution will provide a range of Samsung phones at affordable rates to account holders allowing them to conveniently enjoy mobile banking solutions alongside other benefits arising from Internet access.

Ngeru reiterated that the partnership with KWFT-DTM is part of Samsung’s strategy to provide a platform for more than eight million mobile subscribers to upgrade from basic mobile handsets functionalities to smart phone capabilities.

“In a market such as Kenya and indeed in the rest of the third world countries, mobile phones are increasingly becoming a key tool for economic and social survival with a proven capacity to act as development catalysts,” he noted.

“For this reason, Samsung is very keen to forge partnerships with organisations such as KWFT-DTM in our quest to bridge the digital and economic divide through quality and affordable devices,” he said.

Njeru added that Samsung will actively seek to develop customised Mobile Banking Apps to further support social financial inclusion efforts in Kenya and beyond.

The recently rolled out KWFT Mobile Banking Services allows clients to conveniently access banking services through their mobile phones.

According to KWFT-DTM Managing Director Mwangi Githaiga, the institutions account holders are currently using KWFT’s mobile banking service for loan repayments and savings.

“With the Samsung partnership, KWFT-DTM is now very well positioned to empower women to purchase a phone which is undoubtedly a very valuable business tool through easy and flexible terms as part of our strategy to bank on women through enhanced telecommunication access,” Githaiga said.

The KWFT Mobile Banking Service is loaded with innovative features allowing account holders to enjoy services such as balance enquiries, mini statements, funds transfers, M-Pesa, purchase airtime, ATM services and utility bill payments.

KWFT-DTM has witnessed great innovation through its delivery channels, which include 225 physical offices, ATMs on the Kenswitch network and now mobile banking that facilitates micro savings and payments, thus further deepening its outreach and financial inclusion.