KCB has recently heightened its investment in new business lines while seeking strategic partnerships as it deeps existing ones as a spring-board of its Pan African agenda. Due to a sustained push to grow non-funded income, as well as cost management initiatives across Kenya and the International businesses, the bank has recorded a 12% rise in interest income equals to 6.2 Billion from 5.6 Billion.
Fees and commissions grew by 19% as a result of increased transaction volumes and new products rolled out to meet changing customer needs. Two weeks ago, KCB formally launched its newly created KCB Insurance Agency business with an eye at growing earnings from new business lines.
The Insurance Agency proposition will initially be available in 98 of the Bank’s 187 branches in Kenya, before full roll out across the country and the region in the next 12 months. Prospects for the insurance agency are looking up, as it is already profitable. For the full-year ending December 2014, the agency saw profits rise by 268% (year on year growth) from KShs 42.23 million in 2013 to KShs 155.23 million.
In April this year, KCB Group launched its Islamic Banking unit as it seeks to tap into the growing demand for Islamic financial products across the East African region. The launch of “KCB Sahl Banking” paved the way for the full roll-out of Sharia’h compliant products and supports the financial inclusion agenda.
In the same month, the company launched an ambitious programme aimed at facilitating the collection of taxes across Kenya’s 47 counties. The revenue collection solution is part of the Bank’s wider initiative to enhance service delivery to citizens in the ongoing devolution process.
KCB MPESA Account, a product under the strategic partnership between KCB Group and Safaricom, has shown the most significance to the bank’s customers where 1 million accounts were opened a month after launch. The product allows customers to access loans based on their credit worth history while also enabling them to save on free deposit accounts and earn interest. KCB-M-PESA account holders are required to dial the USSD code *844# to see how much they can borrow and follow the prompts to secure the loan which will be sent to their KCB M-PESA accounts instantly. The loan amount is determined by the amount of savings that the customer has made, M-PESA balance, and their savings on both Safaricom and KCB platforms and usage of their suite of products.
The fact that one can borrow instantly from their phones for amounts ranging from as low as Kshs. 50 to purchase airtime says a lot about KCB’s interest in serving all Kenyans, including our mama mbogas.
In the coming months, KCB plans to deepen its investment in the digital payments platform as Kenya and the East African region increasingly move into a cashlite economy which is billed as the next frontier for growth in the financial services sector.