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Timiza product is Absa bank’s virtual banking strategy to extend its growth and services to the mobile space/FILE

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Users encounter challenges with new Absa virtual lending app

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Absa bank has been under pressure in the past few weeks from a section of its clients over its revolutionary mobile banking platform dubbed Timiza.

The app currently serves over five million customers since its launch in 2018. Following reviews from some users on the Google Play store, the lender may need to get back to the drawing board to improve user experience in order to attract more customers.

Shifting through the reviews on the Google Play Store, the complaints range from difficulty in access to hiccups on loan repayment which they say takes time to reflect.

“The new app needs a lot of debugging. Please restore the USSD service as you work or correcting issues with the new app. 1. new app takes long to start. 2. the new up is not showing the updated balance. 3. it is not able to trigger an mpesa transaction as is the case,” writes Carole Kyalo.

Another user Robert Kimani in his review notes that the app is not working well, it keeps on crushing. Eunice says she has issues with accessing her funds and the current upgrade makes it hard for one to check and repay their loans.

“Hi timiza people.what is going on. I have been trying to log in to my account since 27th but to success. I have called customer care, but they are telling me they are working on it. Kindly resolve the issue asap. Worst app I have ever used since the upgrade,” wrote Caroline Joseph.

While majority of the reviews pointed to challenges, some also had positive comments on the product.

“Generally, About timiza you have been the best ever, low interest rate compared to other lending organizations till when you decided to upgrade your platform, it’s totally failing and this could inturn reduce the number of your customers who are likely to be blacklisted (CRB),” reads a comment from Kevin Were.

“The New app is great I restarted my phone after installation They requested for a pin change which I did and now It’s better and faster a Very user-friendly interface,” writes Isaac Bett.

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Timiza product is Absa bank’s virtual banking strategy to extend its growth and services to the mobile space.

The launch in 2018 came after two other banks NCBA (through M-Shwari) and KCB Group extended virtual services over Safaricom and M-Pesa to reach millions more digital customers and borrowers.

Timiza is immediately available to all M-Pesa customers who are either the bank’s customers or non-customers. The minimum loan amount is Shs 50, and maximum Sh1 million, though it’s up to 150,000 (~$1,500) depending on one’s credit rating and funds are immediately sent to one’s Timiza wallet (not M-pesa).

When the bank first launched its digital app known as “Timiza” — Kiswahili for “Achieve” — in March 2018, it attracted 300,000 customers.

By the end of the year 2018, it had 3 million users, with lending standing at Sh10 billion.

“We have seen our app grow in leaps and bounds. We are now roughly under 5 million [Timiza] customers, and we really are looking forward to growing that number in the future,” Awori told a news conference previously.

Absa Kenya’s profitability in the first half of this year grew more than nine-fold to Sh5.6 billion on increased repayment and aggressive cost management.

In the first six months of 2020, the lender recorded a profit after tax of Sh600 million as it set aside a huge chunk of its revenues as insurance against possible loan defaults.

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