, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – The banking sector in the country continues to embrace technology for high efficiency and costs management, with the latest being NIC Bank which plans to have almost all its services delivered online.
With its banking concept dubbed NOW, the NIC Bank customers will be able to access most of its services via mobile phones and other electronic devices.
“Everything that you need to do when you walk into a branch today, you will be able to do that both online as well as using the app that you will have on your phone. All we are saying is that you can actually have a relationship with us without ever having to walk into a branch,” NIC Bank Group Managing Director John Gachora said.
Through the NIC NOW mobile application, Gachora said, customers can access several services including balance enquiry on the accounts, M-PESA payments, bill payments and fund transfers using their mobile phones. The application can be downloaded from smartphones app stores such as (Apple) App Store, (Android) Play Store, Blackberry (App World) and Windows (Marketplace).
The launch by NIC Bank comes few days after a study by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) revealed that 60 percent of Kenyans are now using mobile phones for banking and financial services. Of these, 71 percent were from rural residents and 51 percent in urban areas.
NIC has joined the list of the banks in Kenya which are offering their customers an option to open accounts online without necessarily going to the bank or any agent.
Customers will also be able to instantly deposit cheques from their office desks where the bank provides a software and the cheque reader to facilitate transaction.
But even as the technology continues to grow online frauds remain a threat, with the bank emphasising on the need for players to put in measures to secure their online banking portals and educate customers on how to access their online banking in a secure manner.
Some of the well-known threats include viruses, hacking and software programs that are designed to cover fraudsters’ tracks and make detection of fraud more difficult.
“Fighting bank fraud has to be done not by banks alone, but a consorted effort with the consumers,” Gachora noted.
Other banks which have embraced online banking in Kenya include Equity bank, Standard Chartered, Barclays, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) among others.