KCB Bank Kenya & Safaricom Plc. have committed to support customers in financial distress, making available more affordable lending and cutting transaction costs on mobile as part of the measures to assist as the country grapples with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Major companies in Kenya have taken the initiative to waive their transactions in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Just this week, major telcos in Kenya scrapped off transaction charges from person to person transactions below 1000 to minimize the chances of spreading the virus in Kenya.
This announcement comes after a meeting hosted by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday. That brought together banking industry players. KCB has set aside KShs. 30 billion in a stimulus fund for onward lending to KCB M-PESA customers during the next 90 days.
KCB has more than 22 million customers who borrowed KShs.212 billion in 2019 on its KCB-MPESA mobile lending platform. Which more customers are set to benefit from the plan.
The fund will allow for higher borrowing limits for qualifying customers and extended repayment periods for borrowers with existing facilities.
Further, the bank and Safaricom will allow customers blacklisted at the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) but have since cleared their facility.
“We shall open credit limits to those customers listed for defaulting on small amounts. But to those who are now repaying their loans. Customers who need relief will get in touch with us to work out the respective support areas,” said Mr. Oigara.
Other relief measures available to individual customers, and small business owners will include renegotiations of the loan contracts. This will either allow repayment postponement or extending the repayment periods up to one year. The Bank will foot the legal costs associated with loan restructuring.
“We stand with Kenyans and all our customers at this time as our country and the world grapples with the pandemic. Our firm priority remains ensuring that our employees, customers, business partners and the entire population remains safe and free from the virus,” said KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara.
“We have a role to continue supporting the economy and stimulating growth. The best remedy as our economy starts to slow down is to support our customers to get along with their lives and to protect jobs by providing additional lending. We have been in crises before, but if we pull together, even in this environment, we will get the solutions Kenya needs” he added.
These measures are additional to the zero-rating of the bank to mobile and mobile to bank transactions. In order to increase the usage of digital channels as opposed to cash. This will reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
“Our goal remains ensuring that our customers and our nation comes out of this storm strong together. To continue the work of nation-building. This is the time to stand shoulder to shoulder. To ensure that no one is left behind when all this is over” said Mr. Oigara.