Banking Tech – Barclays Bank Kenya

Editor’s note

With more and more people venturing into online buying and e-transactions, banks are working overtime to stay relevant and win more clients. Different banking institutions in Kenya are trying their hand on the play. This would be an ongoing thread discussing the most common in Kenya and their futile or successful efforts to offering Kenyan seamless online banking solutions

As one of the veteran banking institutions in Kenya, Barclays bank always strives to be at the forefront in banking matters. As more and more Kenyans venture into online banking, it would be disarming for Barclays bank Kenya to have nothing on the platter. Even though it may not be an online banking Kenya hall of famer, its efforts to woo the tech-savvy Kenyan did tingle our geek parts.

Some history

Back in 2011, Barclays bank Kenya was at the king of mobile banking with the release of its Hello Money service. Though simple, the platform would let customers bridge the gap between bank accounts and pockets via MPESA. This was a ground shaker bearing in mind mtaani agent weren’t as common as they are today.

Fast forward to 2013 and you have Barclays Bank Mobile App and Online banking on launch. With double authentication and no charges for ATM or online transaction withdrawals, Barclays was on the right track. By the end of 2014, the bank had an impressive Android app that lets you do almost everything you could do through its online banking portal.

The online banking portal

The online banking portal lets you do quite a couple of neat things – and it is efficient. However convenient it might seem in comparison to a banking hall, I tend to find the website limiting in a way. For instance, the portal focuses on giving you mundane but useful information like:

  • Your bank information, just in case you had a real long weekend and forgotten your details
  • The option to print bank account statements and proof of payment – this is quite convenient
  • Fund transfer between Barclays accounts – wouldn’t be a bother if you never need to interact with other financial institutions
  • Do foreign exchange transactions
  • Pay utility bills, purchase airtime and load MPESA – now this is quite useful in Kenya

barclays bank kenya online portalWith such a catalogue, Barclays bank Kenya has a proper online presence for a regular bank account user. Since you can register online for the service, they will get an extra tick on the scorecard.

The limitation to transacting within the same bank is an understandable set back. The lack of support for common eWallets like PayPal and Skrill is another major setback. In essence, Barclays Bank Kenya meets the tech-savvy definition of a regular Kenyan who just needs a bank account that can connect to MPESA. If you want more than this, you definitely will have to look somewhere else.

 

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