, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – As competition for innovative banking products gathers momentum, financial institutions are going further to make banking easier and more accessible to the unbanked population in Kenya.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is the latest to launch a new service on a mobile platform, with the KCB M-Benki that allows non-KCB customers to open bank accounts straight from their mobile phones.
The M-Benki product sits on the KCB Mobi Bank platform which already allows the bank’s customers to transact their accounts without physically going to the bank.
“This mobile-banking platform will accelerate the reach to the unbanked in the country in a convenient, easy and simple manner without personally visiting a branch to open a bank account supporting our financial inclusion agenda,” KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said.
Oigara said one can open a KCB account through M-Benki either through Safaricom’s M-PESA paybill system or by dialing *522# on their mobile phones.
To open an account through M-PESA, one would need to enter pay bill no 522522 with their ID number as the account number or. On the other hand, a prospective customer can dial *522#, enter their national ID number, full names and follow the prompts leading to receipt of a T24 account number and a PIN for Mobi Bank.
To deposit into the account, enter any amount from Sh50 and above, and then the M-PESA PIN.
“You will receive SMS from M-PESA confirming your money has been sent to KCB. Details are verified, and customer gets two SMSs: Mobi + account number and Mobi log in details. You can start using the account immediately,” Oigara explained.
The new product was launched on Tuesday by ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who said that this has demystified banking and simplifies the process of opening a bank account with your phone and you instantly access all other services, wherever you are.
“As a Ministry we are encouraged by the growing sense of innovation in the financial sector, to increase access to banking services in all the 47 counties in Kenya. This has been made possible through the partnership of a mobile operator- Safaricom, the government -Department of Immigration and KCB to allow for this product to fully function in a seamless manner,” he added.