Co-operative Bank headquarters in Nairobi. The bank has introduced a paperless end-to-end account opening process.
Co-operative Bank headquarters in Nairobi.

Co-operative Bank has rolled out its all-digital account opening process, a key element in its digitization plan.

The move means clients will no longer have to fill out lengthy forms at the bank’s branches, with Co-operative opting to go paperless.

The end-to-end digital account opening also aims to reduce contact between customers and staff as one way of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Customers will only be required to present their National Identification cards (IDs), with the banking system automatically generating other ‘Know Your Customer’ documents.

The bank’s aggressive digitization shift saw it named ‘Bank of the Year in Kenya’ by the Financial Times of London in the 2020 FT Banker Awards held on Wednesday, December 2.

Co-operative Bank CEO Gideon Muriuki addressing a past forum
Co-operative Bank CEO Gideon Muriuki addressing a past forum

As of March, the bank had already moved over ninety per cent of all customer transactions to alternative delivery channels from branches through its multi-digital channels strategy.


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The Financial Times noted that Co-op’s digitization plan had resulted in several gains.

“As Co-operative Bank of Kenya implements its digitization strategy plans, it is enjoying gains from increased efficiency and enhanced digital offerings to its customers.

“Products such as E-credit and Mcoop cash are continually upgraded,” the publication wrote.

Co-operative Bank has invested heavily in mobile and internet banking as well as upgrades of its 584 ATMs and network of over 16,700 Co-op Kwa Jirani banking agents.

It’s flagship mobile banking service, MCoop Cash, has been the leading contributor of non-funded income for the bank.

In the first quarter of 2020, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the mobile wallet had attracted 5.6 million customers and disbursed loans worth Ksh16 billion.

In the wake of the pandemic, the bank has restructured loans worth Sh46 billion as at the close of the September third quarter in a bid to cushion customers.

“We continue to actively engage our customers to support them through this period, by re-aligning the servicing of facilities, funding and transactional needs as the situation unfolds,” Co-op Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki noted.

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Martin Siele is the Content Lead at Business Today.

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