Barclay’s Timiza surpasses expectations to reach 3M customers in 9 months


Barclay’s Timiza surpasses expectations to reach 3M customers in 9 months
Barclays Bank CEO Jeremy Awori during the launch of the Timiza mobile banking app

In Summary

  • Timiza has grown to exceed the initial expectations of Barclays Kenya PLC drawing in 3 million new customers for the lender in 9 months since launch to December 31, 2019.
  • The virtual banking platform has raised the competition to battle for consumption of financial services in Kenya's banking industry to include KCB M-pesa, CBA's M-Shwari and Equity Banks's Equitel.

Barclay Kenya’s recently-launched virtual banking platform has grown to surpass expectations drawing in 3 million new users in 9 months to December 2018 to exceed the lender’s own target of a million customers per year.

Dubbed Timiza, the evolutionary approach to banking by the Absa Group Limited local subsidiary, which leverages on easing transactions to customers has seen the bank expand its footprint beyond the scope of its very own brick and mortar infrastructure, pointing to the elevated role of innovation in the banking industry.

“Our main goal has been meeting customers at their point of need. We have always aimed to service customers where they are, and not where we want them to come to. Timiza has in the first year grown to reach over three million new customers, something we have been unable to do in our long existence,” Absa Group Head of Corporate Citizenship Sazini Mojapelo said.

From the platform’s notable reception in just under 12 months, Barclays has re-calibrated its customer targets upwards to between 7 and 10 million in 5 years as the bank remains on a relentless pursuit to drive value for its business through the virtual platform.

Barclays has through Timiza raised the competition to its peers in banking, who have like-minded innovations, to drive up the consumption of financial services including KCB M-pesa and CBA’s M-Shwari. Meanwhile, Equity Bank has Equitel, a mobile-based banking platform.

Launched mid-March 2018, the Timiza virtual banking platform manifested in the form of a mobile application has been targeted mainly at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and has offered services to both account and non-account holders advancing credit without the need for collateral.

The innovation is part of Barclay’s next frontier in its expansion strategy even as the lender progresses on its transformation journey into the new Absa Group outfit.

Barclays remains on course to transform its banking outlets to the red Absa ticker by June 2020 and is currently engaged in nationwide credential and thematic campaigns to facilitate the smooth transition into Absa.

“What you would expect to see between now and June 2020 is the introduction of Absa in the Kenyan market through sponsorship’s. We will then begin introducing the brand from a purpose perspective where we will launch new products that are tied to the new entity,” Barclays Strategy Director for Finance and Investment Banking Musyoka Muthui told Citizen Digital in an interview.

The transition into Absa was prompted by the de-liquidation of Barclays UK’s stake in its African subsidiary which passed the lender’s managerial baton on the continent to South Africa’s Absa Group PLC in early 2018.

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