The Kenya Post Bank is set to embark on an ambitious restructuring programme that will see it reach out to the lower end of the market with disruptive banking.
According to managing director Anne Karanja, the bank is looking to double the savings culture in the country from the current 15 per cent to 30 per cent of the gross domestic product by year 2030.
“We are awaiting facilitation from National Treasury to roll out the restructuring process which will entail education drives to empower Kenyans on saving,” she said during the 15th annual conference of savings banks of East Africa in Nairobi.
Uganda is targeting to achieve a 30 per cent savings level by 2040 while Tanzania is working towards a 25 per cent savings target by 2025, the meeting heard.
She said Kenyans lack the drive to put away a portion of their income in savings, whether in a bank or other savings vehicle, simply due to lack of information that would help them appreciate the need for saving, in spite of impressive levels of financial inclusion at 80 per cent.
She said this double growth in financial inclusion, attributed to mobile access to financial services, and particularly the money transfer solution M-pesa can be replicated in savings but Kenyans first need to change their perception towards saving.
Among the plans of action that the bank is working on include lobbying with the government for capitalisation, development of policies, capacity building for the bank staff, and market segmentation to increase account holder numbers in what they said is a market with very high levels of competition.
“We want to go big on mobile savings as one of the main methods to drive the savings culture.”
They will also incorporate education professionals as they look to the inclusion of financial literacy studies in school curriculums to help inculcate the culture from early in life.
“We are working together with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to incorporate studies on money and savings to our learners so that they can interact with such information as early as possible,” said Karanja.
The association said it is working towards developing a cross border financial system to serve its members in all three countries to enable knowledge sharing, intelligence and banking experiences.