[Kenya Business Week] No to robots in banks
Even as Kenya continues to record impressive penetration of technology, a section of citizens still prefer the brick and mortar services and are still apprehensive about embracing new innovations among them machine intelligence.
In the banking sector for example, customers have not yet warmed up to the idea of robots handling their needs with 80 percent still valuing the traditional model of customer service according to a survey conducted by Kenya Bankers Association. This, even as the sector embraces technologies that continue to redefine banking including agency banking, mobile banking, Facebook banking, crypto banking and video banking.
The United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, Landmark Affordable Housing agreement with the Government of Kenya has taken a major step forward this week following the signing of an agreement between the two parties to deliver 100,000 affordable, sustainable homes nationwide.
This coming weeks after a study showed that employees in Nairobi rank affordable housing as the most important factor when deciding where to live and work.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law a bill creating a 15 percent tax relief for Kenyans buying houses under the affordable housing scheme. This is one of the many initiatives tha the government has committed to pursue under the affordable housing space. Private companies like Unity Homes and Housing Finance have also bolstered government's efforts even as studies show Kenya’s real estate market now favours low cost housing.
Manufacturers, retailers and suppliers have signed Code of Practice to guide prompt payment in retail sector. The purpose of this Code of Practice is to encourage self-regulation and harmonize the retailers’ and suppliers’ ways of engagement. To promote the local businesses and foster sustainability, the manufacturers' umbrella body has been partnering with government and other private sector players including Brand Kenya Board, GIZ, University of Nairobi and TradeMark East Africa.
In tech, Creditinfo has launched a new Integrated anti-fraud solution to combat identity fraud for the Kenyan mobile lending market. The largest telecommunicationc company in the country Safaricom has been rolling new security measures to address the issue of SIM swap fraud. To further complement voice biometrics, Safaricom has been exploring the use of finger and facial recognition. This, as the government steps up efforts to arrest sim fraud.
Safaricom has this week ventured into cybersecurity business by introducing a set of services that allow companies, enterprises, and individuals to secure their emails, websites, manage vulnerabilities, test and audit I.T systems and access real time monitoring among other services.
Digital money transfer service WorldRemit has partnered with NIC Bank for digital money transfers to Kenya which is targeting Kenyans living in over 50 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. To further grow its foothold in the Kenyan market, WorldRemit has worked with National Bank of Kenya and Diamond Trust Bank even as data shows that Kenyans abroad are the biggest senders of mobile to mobile remittances.
South Africa's Global Credit Ratings (GCR) has clarified that it is still operating in Kenya and is not contemplating a withdrawal. The clarification comes after a recently issued Kenya Gazette notice caused some confusion regarding GCR’s presence in Kenya.