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Barclays Bank Kenya changes to ABSA Kenya

ABSA bank Kenya launched into the market with a pledge to provide unsecured loans of up to Ksh10 million to Kenya’s small and medium enterprises. ABSA bank Kenya Managing Director, Jeremy Awori said the loans will be repayable over a period of up to six years.

The name change at the NSE comes a week after Barclays Bank of Kenya officially changed its name to ABSA Bank Kenya Plc – marking the start of a new era for the bank that has operated in Kenya for close to 104 years.

And as ABSA Bank takes over, Mr. Awori said the bank focuses on small and medium enterprises, which are bedrock of Kenya’s economy. “We have relaunched SME propositions to include unsecured loans of up to 10 million, LPO financing and discounting of up to 50 million, in the next few days, further we will do announcements of how will support SME which are critical to Kenya’s growth. We shall also be launching an SME tool kit that allows SME OWNERS to be able to perform important functions online i.e. cash flow management, and planning. We are looking at the customer as center of our bank. For the bank to thrive, we need customers to thrive and succeed. We have Spent time talking to customers, understanding what they want, what they feel banks should be providing them to ensure they offer resonating products.” This sentiment was also echoed by the bank’s Chairman Mr. Charles Muchene.

To further improve its customer’s experience, ABSA bank says it will incorporate technology into its products and interactions with customers thus moving most of its customers onto its mobile banking platform. The platform dubbed ‘Timiza’ Kiswahili for “Achieve”, was launched in March 2018, and has so far attracted 300,000 customers. By the end of the year it had 3 million users, with lending standing at Ksh 10 billion shillings ($98.91 million).

Absa Kenya, which is part of South Africa’s Absa Group, posted a pretax profit of Ksh8.18 billion in the first nine months of 2019, compared with Ksh7.72 billion in year-earlier period.

Kenyan lenders have in recent years turned to technology as they try to counter competition from mobile phone-based financial services such as from telecoms operator Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform, which had 23.6 million users as of last September.

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