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For those who live online, and by online I mean Twitter and Facebook, you have most likely come across this hashtag #UnbankYourself.

If not, this product is probably not for you, but before you close your tab and leave me hanging, here’s a snippet of what I am talking about.

 

So when this campaign begun about two weeks ago, it was unclear what exactly to expect and who was actually behind it (since that time the account didn’t have any Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) branding on it.

With our instinctive need to know, we dived deep into the Terms and Conditions document and figured out that CBA was actually behind the campaign. Seeing this, we expected it to be a big announcement, since this is the same bank (CBA) working with Safaricom on M-Pesa and M-Shwari. Patiently we waited.

March 13th, 2017. CBA unveiled a new digital money management and consumer banking service. Dubbed “Loop”, the service targets millennials and tech savvy customers, who are engaged in some economic activity with regular income. According to CBA, the new service eliminates the need for visiting a physical branch for any of the core banking services, because they will now be offered through a smartphone and web application for the Loop customers.

The main highlight of CBA Loop app, is a Personal Financial Management tool, which enables customers to track, plan and analyse their income against their expenditure, with the analysis presented using graphical tools for easier interpretation. It also makes it easy for customers to plan for and finance their personal goals for a given period. Other transactional features include:

  • Payments such as utility, sending money, etc
  • Investment
  • Savings

The new service has been in development for the past two years, based on deep insights gained from the millennial and tech savvy customers. The research delved into the target customers’ habits, their motivations, aspirations, preferences, passions, as well as their pain points in accessing banking services such as loans, deposits and making savings.

“CBA has over the years been associated with transformative innovation that has redefined the financial sector, having been the partner bank when Safaricom launched M-Pesa 10 years ago and M-Shwari in November 2012. With Loop, the Kenyan customer is a winner again, with a financial services partner that is concerned about their growth. We aspire to change the nature and manner of conversations that customers have with their bank” said Eric Muriuki, General Manager, New Business Ventures at CBA.

Eric Muriuki, General Manager, New Business Ventures at CBA (Right) and Martin Gicheru, Managing Editor at Techweez (Left)

Muriuki said, “While the banking sector has effectively catered for its more established customers, it has fallen short in addressing the needs and preferences of millennials and particularly the new age entrepreneur. Square pegs cannot fit into a round hole. Loop is the realization that technological advancements and consumer changing behaviors dictate what and how we offer as financial solutions.” “Our communication on Loop also does away with the traditional banking jargon, which according to research does not relate well with our target market. In its place we will opt for more relatable terms that will place our customers at the centre of their respective financial journeys,” he added.

Millennials and those who are tech savvy will not have to visit a banking hall to become Loop customers. All they will need is to download the Loop App from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store, or from their website www.cbaloop.com, enter their registration details and collect their cards from specially created retail outlets called Loop Stores. Then they can activate their accounts by depositing money either through M-Pesa, cash deposit or wire transfer from another account and start transacting.

The setup process within the app is straight forward, you will be prompted to fill a virtual form in three stages. First, you will be required to give personal information about your identity, followed by information on your income and where you would like to collect your Loop Debit Card and finally security questions.

There are a total of six Loop stores, located at Yaya Centre, Garden city, CBA Mama Ngina Branch in the CBD, Sarit Centre, The Point in BuruBuru and Maasai Mall in Ongata Rongai. CBA also mentioned that they will roll out more stores country-wide in the near future. The Loop stores are equipped with Wi-Fi and designed as both work and social spaces, where customers can interact with their financial services partner as well as among themselves.

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