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Bank customers prefer social media engagement

Releasing the survey, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said the respondents would rather communicate with the banks through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp/FILE

Releasing the survey, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said the respondents would rather communicate with the banks through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Nine out of 10 bank customers prefer their banks to communicate with them via social media, according to a survey by the Kenya Bankers Association.

Releasing the survey, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said the respondents would rather communicate with the banks through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

More than half of the respondents log on to these sites daily while another 30 percent log in hourly throughout the day.

However most of the banks at the moment mainly communicate with their customers through phone calls, SMS alerts, email and the post.

“The survey’s respondents indicated that when they are engaged by banks on social media, they would like educational information that is not related to product marketing,” Olaka said.

The survey was done between February 17 to 22 with a sample of 500 respondents but Olaka said it will be ongoing to check the customer behavioural trend.

Commercial banks may now have to rethink their client engagement models as social media becomes the most preferred channel of communication from bank customers.

At the moment, only 19 out of the 43 commercial banks operating in Kenya have a presence on social media.

“For the banks that that do utilise web platforms, customers are able to quickly raise their issues and such interactions build relationship. Therefore there is need for the industry to leverage these platforms as an effective way to connect with their customers and to build brands,” Olaka noted.

But while customers encouraged banks to engage them more online, the survey shows that customers remain sensitive to online security with only 40 percent of the respondents indicating willingness to share their account details with their banks.

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“Even as banks embrace online communications with their customers, I think there are some areas of communications that will require a one-on-one with the customers and that would of course require one to walk to the bank,” he said.

Meanwhile, Olaka said that all banks have migrated to the new EMV (Euro MasterCard Visa) enabled ATM cards in efforts to fight banks fraud.

Olaka disclosed that all customers will be have the EMV cards by March 31 this year, following the process that started in September last year.

The EMV cards have the cardholder details encrypted on a chip instead of on the traditional magnetic stripe.

“By December 30 last year all the banks had upgraded their ATM machines to comply with the new standard but customers still hard the old cards which will have to be done away with now.”

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