Survey: Apps Top Bank Customers’ Digital Banking Preferences

Kenya Bankers Association
Kenya Bankers Association CEO Habil Olaka. PHOTO/COURTESY

Mobile Applications topped bank customers’ preferences in 2021, reinforcing a sustained uptake of contactless banking solutions that gained traction in 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (2021), the preference for Apps was driven by the introduction of versatile banking software by financial service providers, taking over functions previously conducted via mobile and Internet banking platforms.

The survey, which analyses feedback from close to 30,000 respondents, shows that digital features such as mobile and Internet banking rank highly among respondents at 25 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Compared to 2020, 58.4 percent of customers preferred mobile banking as a transaction channel compared to 52 percent in 2020. Preference for ATM channels dropped from 12 percent in 2020 to 9.7 percent in 2021.

The proportion of customers that continued to use physical branches however remained unchanged, at seven percent, in both 2020 and 2021.

On customer support, 46.4 percent of respondents preferred human-assisted services as the best channel for complaint resolution. The trend shows that while there is a general increase in preference for automated transactions, human contact is still largely preferred by bank clients in customer service support.

Kenyans, the survey shows, are multi-banked, with at least 8 out of 10 bank customers (62 percent) having 2 to 3 bank accounts compared to the 2020 rate of 77 percent.

The findings attribute the decline to reduced economic activity in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered consolidations of funds by bank customers to reduce costs associated with maintaining many bank accounts.

Speaking during a virtual release of the survey findings, KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka urged the banking industry to work closely with various stakeholders to facilitate further inclusion, particularly for vulnerable groups such as Persons with Disabilities.

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