With the ubiquity of mobile money, mobile banking is now a MUST have for any Sacco that wants to retain existing members, reduce member attrition rates and expand their base. 

Enabling members to perform banking services at the comfort of their phone, regardless of time and location with real-time reflection and reconciliation on their respective accounts, is now the new norm. A Sacco will have a much harder time breaking bonds with members if they have developed a durable connection with them.

COVID-19 has caused Saccos to accelerate their digital touchpoints to its members. Personalisation of banking services is now the hook that will determine the survival and growth of Sacco’s post-COVID19. This will also increase member engagement, loyalty and encourage patronage.

It also embeds member engagement on the mobile banking app, where they can call the Sacco’s call centre or utilize the inbuilt chat functionality to always make inquires to their Saccos, which customer service teams will attend to.

Saccos need to leverage non-traditional source of deposits to enrich their capital base. Riding on mobile money (Mpesa, Airtel and Tkash) will enable them to achieve this. Mobile banking is a silver bullet in deposit mobilization because there are no limitations on when and what time to deposit to your accounts, for instance; a share purchase, loan repayment or savings.

The traditional methods of new members onboarding through branches/in-person are now archaic. The digital natives are starting their relationships and engagements with Saccos through app/web, to join digitally, and by default will use these channels eternally. This retires the era of using field staff to visit prospects and try to convince them to physically join the Sacco. 

This will decimate the cost of new member onboarding, positively impacting the Sacco’s bottom-line. This will lay the foundation for the next chapter of expansion, reaching new members beyond its physical branches and providing innovative digital experiences members expect.

As member’s appetites for technology grow, challenging Saccos of all sizes to make necessary investments to satisfy their younger member base. With the realization of Mobile Banking being king, Saccos should seek technologies that meet compliance and security needs but also enable agility and flexibility. 

Looking forward, the current pandemic will push Saccos to rethink their member engagement strategy. Their prime focus should be to scale-up their mobile banking adoption.

By Kennedy Kiplagat