The launch of a new mobile banking application in Kenya by Pan Africa group Ecobank Transnational is its latest attempt at courting technology to grow its customer base from the current 10 million to 100 million by 2020.
According to the bank’s CEO Ade Ayeyemi, they are courting technology to expand and target more customers in the 33 countries that the bank operates in.
Lenders in Sub-Saharan Africa, where studies show about a third of people have accounts, have been using mobile and Internet banking to recruit new customers, cut operating costs and create new income sources.
“Without technology we cannot go anywhere,” he said.
The application will let users move funds and buy goods across its markets, helping to boost trade in Africa and creating more of a single market on the continent, the CEO of the Togo-based institution said.
Kenyan firms have led the way with mobile phone-based financial services.
Telecoms operator Safaricom has partnered with local banks to lend money on phone to customers.
Ayeyemi said the Ecobank mobile banking platform would first focus on customer transactions and boost savings, before offering loans.
“You don’t lend to people until they know the art of savings,” he said.