CBK: Only one in 10 bank transactions is being done at a branch

Only one out of 10 bank transactions are being conducted at a physical branch pointing to the increased digitization of the banking process.

According to data from the CBK, off-branch transactions have grown to 94 percent by volume since emergency measures to contain the pandemic down from 88 percent at pre-COVID-19 levels.

This is as bank customers adjust to the new normal that has seen the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) lead the industry pandemic mitigation measures including setting rules for both customer and staff safety, physical cash handling and the separation of banking sector employees into teams to ensure continuity.

As branch transactions thin, mobile channels have registered a significant rise in banking utilities as they now command control of 61 percent of transactions by volume down from 44.4 percent.

The new peak has been driven in part by CBK measures to waive transaction fees for money transfers between bank accounts and mobile wallets.

“This is a significant movement towards digital transactions. We should take great advantage of the infrastructure available to grow transactions,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge.

The rise in non-branch transactions has further been occasioned by customers’ fears on catching the virus as the pandemic leaves no sector untouched.

Earlier in May, KCB was forced to temporarily shut its Mvita branch as one of its staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered temporarily shut three branches in Nairobi to the end of July as a mitigation measure to contain the spread of the virus.

The new-normal is set to usher a new era for digital money transactions eclipsing recent records.

The value of mobile transactions rose to Ksh.367.8 billion in 2018 from Ksh.3.8 billion in 2007 or an equivalent Ksh.12.7 billion worth of daily transactions.

This is as the number of mobile money subscribers topped 31.62 million from 1.35 million users in 2007 while active mobile money agents hit 223,931 down from 1582.

Brick and mortar settings have meanwhile shrunk with the number of bank branches having risen marginally to 1505 in 2018 from 1272 in 2012.

Total banking staff have meanwhile reduced by 6.8 percent to 31,889 from 34,059 members in 2013 with shrinkage being registered among clerical and secretarial staff.


COVID-19 Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Central Bank of Kenya

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