SBM Kenya has announced plans to consolidate three of its branches and two Express Units, in line with increased customer preference for digital banking in a Covid-19 context.
Following the government directive that obliged institutions to observe strict Covid-19 regulations at the onset of the pandemic last year, the majority of the banks’ foot traffic opted for digital options, cutting back physical transactions.
“Currently, 82 per cent of our customers transact through alternate channels which include cards and mobile transactions enabled by digitization. In the present day, amidst the pandemic, more people are embracing technology and the use of hand-held devices for day-to-day activities. As a result, the rising demand for convenient financial services is inevitable, hence at SBM Bank Kenya we plan to leverage on the growing mobile usage in the country to offer digital products that will make banking for our customers more efficient and convenient, said Moezz Mir, CEO of SBM Bank Kenya.
The merger follows an internal assessment where the bank reviewed its locations and identified branches that are in close proximity to each other and others where branch footprint was lower due to migration of transactions to digital platforms.
“Our customers are increasingly leveraging our digital capabilities. By optimizing the strategic placement of our physical branch network, we are ensuring appropriate resource allocation to our growing market area. At the same time, our investment in digital channels allow us to best serve customer demand, no matter the physical location,” added Mr Mir.
The three branches earmarked for merging are Lavington, Buru Buru and Kimathi alongside two Express units namely Limuru Xpress and Ngong Rd Xpress. However, each closing branch will be merged into an existing branch, ensuring continuity for customers.
SBM Bank’s consolidation mirrors global trends, as a majority of banks opt for alternative banking channels such as mobile and internet banking in response to the changing customer needs.