Faulu Microfinance Bank Limited has launched a digital banking app called: Faulu DigiCash App that allows its retail and business clientele to access cashless banking from anywhere, anytime, as the Bank ramps up its strategic focus on technology to drive value and better manage customer relationships.
The Bank says it is targeting to reach one million customers within a year (both existing and potential) as it rolls out its technology strategy which has digitized its entire operations. The bank has upgraded and launched an electronic data management system, a customer relationship management system, an agency banking app and upgraded the USSD platform.
This is in response to the rapidly evolving trend, where customers are making less trips to banking halls resulting in increased demand for digital financial solutions.
Existing and new Faulu customers can now download the mobile app to access loans and other financial solutions in real time using smartphones and other devices. They are also able to open accounts, apply for loans, post queries and even buy insurance using smartphones. Individuals and businesses can also access and track payments and manage cash using the platform.
Faulu Bank CEO Apollo Njoroge says the FauluDigicash solution offers convenience to customers by bringing the bank to where they are thus enhancing efficiency and reducing transaction costs.
“The digital solution we are now rolling out is driven by underlying trends in the market where many customers are no longer interested in going to the banking hall or spending time in long queues. Economic activities are now increasingly cashless. We had to come with a solution that empowers our customers to meet their banking needs without having to walk around with cash or keep large amounts of money in their business premises thus ensuring their safety,” says Mr. Njoroge.
He adds, “Technology is raising the bar in customer experiences in the dynamic market for digital services. While the benefits of mobile banking for consumers are clear – convenience, security, ease of access – the Faulu Digicash solution also presents some distinct advantages that will transform our business model for better and faster service delivery.
With over 500,000 customers spread across the country, an enhanced digital platform enables Faulu to boost its presence and reach in the market. “Another unique feature of this solution is that it allows SMEs to apply for bid bonds and performance bonds using a mobile device without having to go to the bank to fill out forms,” explains Mr. Njoroge.
Apart from enabling banking services, the Faulu Digicash solution is core to delivery of a digital-enabled customer experience that unlocks opportunities, investments and time for its growing clientele.
The core capabilities of the mobile app also include digital loans and credit scoring capabilities, customer relationship management and bancassurance. Using the Faulu Digicash solution, one can also purchase and pay for insurance policies.
It is also integrated with the major mobile money transfer platforms to facilitate payment of utility bills and other expenses using the phone. “The Faulu Digicash solution also enables payments through the RTGS platform.”
The Faulu Digicash solution also comes as a relief to Faulu customers who transact outside the normal banking hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. such as traders who transport farm produce to markets at night. It is also convenient for groups like chamas by allowing them to mobilise savings from members without having to wait for the end of the month.
Faulu also plans customer awareness activities on the benefits of digital banking and how to use the new platform to enhance their personal financial experience and grow their business.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, visits to the banks by customers were on a decline and with the number of smartphones increasing exponentially, the use of banking apps that facilitate cashless transactions has been growing steadily.
Recent surveys show that customers are increasingly opting for digital channels and looking for banks that offer a positive remote banking experience.
“In view of the current market trends and consumer behavior, the digital revolution has bequeathed us with a sense of innovation that has transformed conventional banking. In view of this, Faulu is aggressively investing in the digital transformation journey to give our customers exceptional banking while reducing costs,” explained Njoroge.
Digital technology is also critical in optimizing operational and cost efficiencies and driving alternate channels like mobile and agency banking.
Faulu has strategically aligned its business model to provide a wide range of accessible financial services through its branch network, Faulu Mobile Banking through *339#, Faulu ATMs and through any Visa enabled ATMs countrywide.