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Barclays Kenya goes mobile

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 3 – Barclays Bank of Kenya customers now have the opportunity to minimise cash transactions, following the launch of a mobile banking product on Wednesday.

Dubbed ‘Hello Money’ the product will allow customers to check their balances, pay utility bills and transfer money to accounts either within Barclays or one held in another bank effectively making it the first bank to offer such a service.

“Many customers have to walk into the bank or go to the ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) to check their balances. But with ‘Hello Money’, they will be able to do that wherever they are at any time of day or night,” Managing Director Adan Mohamed said.

He told reporters during its launch that the service has in-built security features to protect clients who’ll also have their data stored within the bank’s servers.

Although there are no limits as to how much money a customer can transfer within a day, the MD assured that it had many features such as the use of a personalised identification number to prevent unauthorised access or fraud.

The bank’s Consumer Banking Director Abdi Mohamed said the product, which has been rolled out in partnership with Safaricom would enable them to decongest their banking halls and provide customers with a cheaper channel of carrying out their transactions.

There will be a two-month trial period where customers who register for the service will be able to use it for free after which the bank said it would then embark on a plan to recover the transaction costs.

“People underestimate the cost of doing business through branch-banking and therefore we are positioning it (mobile banking) as the most convenient channel through which our customers can access us,” he said although he declined to divulge charges for the service.

The technology has been launched in a number of countries where Barclays operates and was first introduced in India in March last year.

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It is estimated that about 63 percent or 44,000 of Barclays 70,000 retail customers in the Asian countries have applied to join the service with 3,000 transactions conducted in its first one month.

Speaking during the launch, the two said that with a subscriber base of about 15 million mobile phone users in Kenya, they expected favourable results from their product’s usage.

They said the bank would continue to embrace the use of technology so as to increase access to financial services to all Kenyans.

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