, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – Kenyans are showing an increased appetite for financial advice in a competitive market according to Ernst and Young’s (EY) 2014 Global Consumer Banking study.
The study indicates that 86 percent of Kenyan customers want banks to provide them with plans that will assist them reach their financial goals and help them invest for their financial well-being.
Kenyan bank customers are also in need of customised products and services to fit their needs and lower their costs.
“This presents an opportunity for banks to tailor product costs and features for clients. This is where banks need to apply a good customer segmentation strategy,” EY Advisory Leader for East and Central Africa Celestine Munda says.
The study also reveals that consumer confidence in the banking industry is on the rise globally with Kenyan customers among the most confident in the continent.
The study which surveyed over 32,000 banking customers in 43 countries including respondents from Kenya shows banks are providing traditional banking services well, but need to focus on important aspects of the customer experience.
The report indicates that banks must earn the highest levels of trust in order to retain customers, win more business and create genuine loyalty.
According to the study, African customers also express stronger advocacy for their primary financial service provider than seen globally and are more likely to recommend their primary financial service provider.
Customers in Kenya with 62 percent are the strongest advocates, followed by South Africa at 51 percent) and Nigeria 46 percent.
On a global average, only four out of every 10 people can recommend their bank or financial services provider to other customers.
Globally, most customers cited the way they are treated as the main reason of having complete trust in their banking providers; however, Kenyans value more the ability to withdraw money especially through mobile and ATM channels terming it their single main driver.
Other drivers were financial stability and the customer experience, including how providers communicate to the customers and handle complaints.
“Customers’ experience is the main driver of trust and is also the single most common reasons that customers open and close accounts globally; but customers in Africa also place greater importance on finding ways to save money, mobile banking features, reputation and protecting their financial information,” says Steve Osei-Mensah EY, Advisory Leader for Financial Services in East and Central Africa.
The report highlights that Kenyan banks need to improve their efficiency when it comes to problem resolution with more than half of customers in Kenya having experienced a problem in the 12 months prior to the survey being carried out.
However Kenyan consumers reported the most satisfied with resolution of incidents.
Banks in Kenya are also facing increased competition from technology companies and mobile phone providers, who are providing customers with more options in banking and cash transfer